Richardson finds new home at Hampton

'Just another student' following arrest at UT

Former University of Tennessee football player Nu'Keese Richardson leaves after pleading guilty Monday, Jan. 11, 2010 to one count of attempted robbery in a Knox County Criminal Court.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Former University of Tennessee football player Nu'Keese Richardson leaves after pleading guilty Monday, Jan. 11, 2010 to one count of attempted robbery in a Knox County Criminal Court.

HAMPTON, Va. - Two months after Nu'Keese Richardson's arrest ended his freshman season and football career at the University of Tennessee, the wide receiver has resurfaced.

One day before coach Lane Kiffin's sudden move to Southern California, Richardson pleaded guilty to one count of attempted robbery Jan. 11. Last Friday, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound Richardson roamed Hampton University's campus, on his second chance in an new environment conducive to his maturation.

"I was watching (Richardson) walk from weight lifting and it was as if he was just another student," said Hampton coach Donovan Rose. "No one was running up to him, trying to get his autograph or talk to him. It's amazing how few recognize him on campus."

Now one of only 5,656 undergraduates enrolled at Hampton, Richardson's mentor believes his high-profiled player, whose last-minute decision to leave Florida and attend Tennessee created headlines, is a good fit for the Pirates.

"Hampton is a personable and close-knit campus," said Rose, who serves as director of the Hampton Opportunity Program for Enhancement, which has mentored black males since 1992. "He can come in and talk to the head coach at any time, get extra help from teachers and he isn't dealing with classes that have hundreds of students. (Players coming from big schools) do better at Hampton."

Kiffin dismissed Richardson and freshman defensive back Mike Edwards from the team four days after three men reported they were victims of a robbery attempt at a convenience store Nov. 12. Charges were dropped against freshman safety Janzen Jackson.

Richardson reached a plea agreement and in return received pre-trial diversion and three years probation. If Richardson can meet all provisions under his probationary period, Knox Country Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz will permanently erase the charges from his record.

"Basically, I've learned my lesson about what happens when you make stupid mistakes," Richardson said after the court proceedings. "I do not want to ever be in a predicament like this again."

While recruiting the South Florida region last December, Rose and recruiting coordinator Stephen Field sat down with Richardson's aunt and uncle, high school football coach, and mentors in Pahokee, Fla. Richardson was ranked the No. 8 receiver in the nation and the Pahokee High star ended up in a recruiting battle between Florida and Tennessee.

The judge's final ruling served as the last check, ensuring Richardson could suit up as soon as spring practice in March for Hampton.

"I received nothing but good remarks about (Richardson's) character," Rose said. "He's a 'yes sir, no sir' kind of guy. He was just a good kid at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Rose said Richardson, who has three years of eligibility left and can play this season because the Pirates (5-6, 2-5 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) compete in the Football Championship Subdivision, likely will be tagged as an impact player, helping to catapult an offense that ranked middle-of-pack in the conference last season.

It's a unit that for the past two seasons utilized LaMarcus Coker, who transferred from Tennessee after former coach Phillip Fulmer dismissed the running back in 2007 following his fourth failed drug test.

"He's almost like a Percy Harvin," said Rose, comparing him to the rookie receiver of the Minnesota Vikings and former Florida star. "I looked at his tape and he is just an amazing athlete that can come right in and help us.

"Now that he can play in spring practice, he can really learn the offense come time for the season."

Coker, who finished the 2009 season as the MEAC's leading rusher, overcame his past to create a potential NFL future with his opportunity at Hampton.

Rose believes that once Richardson becomes acclimated with the program and university, his top incoming transfer will share the same success.

"I am going to do everything to be a positive role model," Rose said. "We are going to keep it real with him in terms of expectations and make sure that he knows what to do."

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Comments » 63

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

not a lot of interest in this.

Highlands_Whisky writes:

Wrong place at the wrong time? That is one way of putting it, I suppose.

Another way to put it would be he is affiliated with a violent gang and brought Mike Edwards in, helping end two promising careers in one fell swoop.

I am glad he is getting another chance and I hope he makes the most of it.

NFLORIDA_TNGRAD writes:

Its over and done. It was embarassing but ultimately just a bump in the Kiffin debacle on wheels. He's gonna be a top round draft pick if he keeps his nose clean and gains size. He's got all the tools and will *absolutely destroy* the competition in the MEAC.

OrangeDew writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

not a lot of interest in this.

just enough for you to post a comment

Orangeblood13 writes:

hope there is no Pilots nearby....

UT4ever writes:

Nuke exploded at UT.......on Kiffy-boy's watch....wonder if he was with Dooley if that would have helped him out......Kiff-boy didn't care about his players off the field, and Nuke should do better with more caring coaches around him, IMO......

golfballs03 writes:

best of luck to him. hope he can focus on what's important

bobbarbilly writes:

A second chance Nu'keese. I hope that you make the most of it and have a great future.

bigorange61 writes:

"He's almost like a Percy Harvin," said Rose.

Must be referring to the marijuana thing.

volsr4me writes:

I just hope the kid just get's his life back in order. Good luck Nu'Keese.

out_of_town_vol_fan writes:

in response to UT4ever:

Nuke exploded at UT.......on Kiffy-boy's watch....wonder if he was with Dooley if that would have helped him out......Kiff-boy didn't care about his players off the field, and Nuke should do better with more caring coaches around him, IMO......

i dont think he would have come to play for Dooley. nuke's character doesn't seem to be all that different from what we saw from lame.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

Best of luck to the young man. Most of us make stupid mistakes. Well - maybe not that stupid but anyway - I hope he does well.

huntined#565710 writes:

Got to wish him well as he said he messed up real bad..he has a chance to play ball and make something of him self just hope it turns out well for him..

mountainbrook writes:

Hope everything works out for him.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Hope he gets his cheesburger...

UT4ever writes:

in response to out_of_town_vol_fan:

i dont think he would have come to play for Dooley. nuke's character doesn't seem to be all that different from what we saw from lame.

yeah......funny how trash gravitates to each other......;)

ThugTillIDie writes:

Looks like Ken Sparks fell asleep at the wheel.

lateknight writes:

I did find it quite funny that, after being charged with attempted robbery, he ends up on a team called the pirates.

LiveFaith writes:

Victims of a robbery at gunpoint don't even get a mention. The perpetrator with 4.4 speed get's no real punishment, a college scholly, mentors a plenty, new fans, and a bright sunny future.
America the Beautiful.

LiveFaith writes:

**"Hampton is a personable and close-knit campus," said Rose, who serves as director of the Hampton Opportunity Program for Enhancement, which has mentored black males since 1992.**

Is Hampton a racist University or have BLACK males been the only one to show up since 92? Mentoring is one of the great needs in our society and I hope any young man can find it. I'm just wondering how a "WHITE males only" mentoring program would go over at the Uni? I swear I just heard MLKs "dream" speech the other day, and it said something about judging not by the color.

ClayMolder (Inactive) writes:

wish him well....at hampton.

Shiggidyhappens writes:

Please!
No more stories about young men not sent to jail and given a chance to turn their life around.
Please!
No more stories about people who are no longer connected with this university... be it friendly or unfriendly separation....
Please........Pretty Please.
Please!
Refrain from stirring up excess venom from your readers....because it's there and will always be there.

VOLume27 writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

hope there is no Pilots nearby....

No . . . now he gets to choose which corner 7-11 to buy his Super Big Gulps from.

InertGas writes:

Dear KNS:
We really don't want to hear anymore about this guy.
Thank you.
Jack Daniels

TommyJack writes:

Some cold s.o.b.'s on this board.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Best of luck, youngster.

Not all of us were perfect on this journey called life.

PennVol writes:

I guess USC's roster is full.

KingsportsGoat (Inactive) writes:

hope this kid gets it right this time. good luck Nu'keese!

volman1968 writes:

Thug given another chance? Unbelievable..Wonder if Hampton University drug test these kids or turns a "blind eye"! Maybe that is part of the mentoring program they are speaking of! Maybe this Rose guy takes the cup for them. Once a thug always a thug!

beef4davols writes:

in response to LiveFaith:

**"Hampton is a personable and close-knit campus," said Rose, who serves as director of the Hampton Opportunity Program for Enhancement, which has mentored black males since 1992.**

Is Hampton a racist University or have BLACK males been the only one to show up since 92? Mentoring is one of the great needs in our society and I hope any young man can find it. I'm just wondering how a "WHITE males only" mentoring program would go over at the Uni? I swear I just heard MLKs "dream" speech the other day, and it said something about judging not by the color.

Hampton is a historically BLACK college. That fact may have been helpful to you before commenting.

BigBadVol writes:

Good luck Nu'Keese. I hope you have success and happiness. Make your family proud.

cgbtn writes:

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us of all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

Nuke, you're lucky God isn't a Vol fan.

nothinglastsforever writes:

How quickly we turn our backs on a kid who spurned a chance to play for his home state school for the chance to come to UT and help in the rebuilding process. He made a terrible decision, yes, but we have all made bad decisions. Best of luck, Nuke!

VolGraduate writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's a sexual reference you know. Fitting for a Gator

VOLume27 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You might be surprised, W_D. Hampton University has a very good reputation, both academically and otherwise. A typical gripe heard about Hampton is that Hampton's "snobbish" (not, e.g., "thuggish" or "dumb").

I hope Richardson does well. The challenge will be his being able to stay away from the bad areas on "the Peninsula" (LOTS of them in Newport News and Hampton.)

Kinda like Memphis. . . .

RockyTop1_old writes:

in response to cgbtn:

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us of all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

Nuke, you're lucky God isn't a Vol fan.

And neither are you (a VOL fan)! I think I read about turning the other cheek (toward the posts) also, which you must have missed! I am ALL VOL and am ALL God's!

I do however, feel sorry for HIS stupid decision, but maybe he can get his life in order and move on to be a positive influence to others! I wish him well, but we do have things (scars) that remain even when forgiven! We have to deal with them and move on! PEACE to YOU and him. GBO!!

phhome writes:

in response to volman1968:

Thug given another chance? Unbelievable..Wonder if Hampton University drug test these kids or turns a "blind eye"! Maybe that is part of the mentoring program they are speaking of! Maybe this Rose guy takes the cup for them. Once a thug always a thug!

You never know what will happen, but I'm sure you're a psycologist, AND since you know so much about Hampton, why don't you go and personally ask Mr. Rose, instead of trying to make yourself look good on this site, meanwhile dogging someone for trying to turn a life around.

punkin writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's not that he didn't have a record, he just hadn't been caught till he got to UT.

Biggie writes:

in response to Highlands_Whisky:

Wrong place at the wrong time? That is one way of putting it, I suppose.

Another way to put it would be he is affiliated with a violent gang and brought Mike Edwards in, helping end two promising careers in one fell swoop.

I am glad he is getting another chance and I hope he makes the most of it.

Good post...my thoughts exactly

volboy81 writes:

isnt this where most of the criminals who get kicked off real football teams end up?

mtcarmeltnvol writes:

He should feel lucky to be above ground, much less playing football. If one of the kids he robbed was packing a real gun this could have turned out to be a much more stupid decision.

utclassof1992 writes:

in response to beef4davols:

Hampton is a historically BLACK college. That fact may have been helpful to you before commenting.

I have never been a racist in my life and love all, but if you tried to have a HWCU, or historically white university, public opinion would scourge you, the goverment would not give you one red cent in funds, and would probably shut you down. HWCU, HBCU, its all racism.

Volunatic writes:

Good luck to you, Nu'Keese.

cheeze writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

appalachianvol writes:

in response to beef4davols:

Hampton is a historically BLACK college. That fact may have been helpful to you before commenting.

Why do we still have Black colleges any way?
For that matter Black anything? Isn't this reverse discrimination?
Just thinking out loud.

volsfan74 writes:

I wish this young man the best of luck, most all of us has made some mistakes, some big some small. The important thing for Nu'Keese is to learn from his mistakes and move on to be a productive person whether on the football field or in life. He can take his life lessons and pass them on to help some other young kid from making the same mistakes. Good Luck to you Nu.

psvol69 writes:

in response to UT4ever:

yeah......funny how trash gravitates to each other......;)

UT4ever and out_of_town_vol_fan you are both moronic biggots... This is just a young kid who absolutely made a VERY DUMB choice in judgement. Neither of you know anything about his true character. You are basing your opinions off of one stupid mistake. what a pity. Didnt your mothers raise you better than this ???!!! Neither of you have EVER talked to him or hung out with him and got to even know him. YES what he did was stupid but the young man deserves a 2nd chance and I wish him the best and I hope he takes full advantage of his opportunity and makes something of his life.
WE all have made mistakes in life some more idiotic than others but still we should be given a 2nd chance. I know you two are NOT above reproach yourselves !!!!!!!!!

Shiggidyhappens writes:

There are no all black colleges in the USA. All HBCU's are predominately black, with people of various ancestry. I can say for sure that there are more predominately other schools elsewhere. Next argument!!

LiveFaith writes:

in response to RockyTop1_old:

And neither are you (a VOL fan)! I think I read about turning the other cheek (toward the posts) also, which you must have missed! I am ALL VOL and am ALL God's!

I do however, feel sorry for HIS stupid decision, but maybe he can get his life in order and move on to be a positive influence to others! I wish him well, but we do have things (scars) that remain even when forgiven! We have to deal with them and move on! PEACE to YOU and him. GBO!!

Excellent post Rocky Top.

JacksonVol23 writes:

Good Luck Nu'Keese. He'll blossom in his new environment; and, I believe we'll see him in the NFL one day. Talent was never the issue with Nu'keese. He just had to get his head on straight and perhaps Hampton is the perfect fit.

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