There is a wealth of football talent that comes out of the Lehigh-Fort Myers (Fla.) area every year. For Lehigh Acres head coach James Chaney, he has seen it all. When coach Chaney references his four-star tailback as a generational player, Alabama fans know they are getting a terrific player.
Richard Young shocked the college football world Friday night announcing his commitment to the Crimson Tide. For some, the presence of state of Georgia running back commit Justice Haynes to Alabama’s class meant Young might go elsewhere but that was never a factor in Young’s decision.
“No, man,” Chaney said. “People are going to go to school. You will have competition. You can’t go to Georgia, Ohio State, or Alabama and not compete. They stack kids to be deep to win championships. You can’t worry about that. You have to stay in your lane and find the fit best for you. You can’t worry about who signs with a team. It is all about the mindset when you get there. Alabama is where he wanted to go. That was the best place for him, the rest is history.”
Coach Chaney spoke about the Crimson Tide recruiting Richard.
“Alabama really has that feeling being the No. 1 school to be recruited by,” Chaney stated. “They have the track record and the substance to be the No. 1 school to get anyone they want. Richard is probably the first Alabama guy to be recruited from my school. One good year at Alabama and you can go to the NFL. Richard wanted that challenge and accepted it; I am awfully proud of him.”
Asked what set the Crimson Tide apart from other programs in Richard’s recruitment, coach Chaney sees his tailback ready to compete.
“I’m not sure,” Chaney said. “I didn’t go on his visits. I have never been to Alabama. He had been there a couple of times, maybe he saw something that set with him and encouraged him to want to be great. I don’t think it was a hard choice. He had Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgia, Oregon – every choice possible.
“He is of the one percent of kids that could go anywhere. He got a feeling when he went there. He got a feeling from coach (Robert) Gillespie (RB), coach (Nick) Saban, and the strength and conditioning staff that resonated with him. He felt comfortable going through the tough challenges of playing football at Alabama, and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Beyond being a standout football player, Alabama is getting a high character addition to their 2023 roster.
“The thing about it, he has been professional from Day 1,” Chaney shared. “He has been recruited since his freshman year. He takes kids under his arms. He is one of the few that get it. I promise they are getting a generational kid. He is ready to put his best foot forward. They will be men longer than football players; I am very excited about what he will bring to Alabama. All I have to say to Richard is congratulations.”