Recently, the Southern Miss fan base was taken aback by one recruit’s not-so-good news about his decision to become a Golden Eagle.
“Earlier this morning, I received some disturbing remarks from a couple of fans,” said three-star cornerback Tancey Richardson from Aiken, South Carolina in a tweet on April 3. “I will be de-committing from the University of Southern Miss [and] my decision has nothing to do with the coaching staff or the team.”
Richardson is a three-star recruit almost 470 miles away from the hub of the Golden Eagles here in Hattiesburg. He holds an offer from Colorado State, and has also received interest from Georgia Tech and Arizona State. But, those interests did not take him away as he decided to sign with the Golden Eagles in early March.
He decided after his commitment to make his first trip to Hattiesburg on Saturday for Junior Day. Richardson saw several other recruits that USM had been courting. But, what transpired shortly after he left campus pushed him to make the harsh decision merely a month into his verbal commitment.
“I had received a [direct message] from a couple of fans that triggered it all,” Richardson said during a telephone interview. “It just started off from [them] being upset that I had visited other schools. I visited Colorado State this year, but I was strong [in my commitment].”
There was one fan on Twitter that he constantly referenced, but did not want to release the fan’s screen name for his family’s safety.
“He said he was a huge fan and he said he would [threaten] my family,” Richardson said. “It was the same person on maybe different accounts. They didn’t approve of me visiting other schools while I was committed.”
The one school Richardson visited, Colorado State, offered him a scholarship in late March. That offer did not sway him away from the Golden Eagles, no matter how hard they pressured him into flipping his commitment. There would also be other coaches that would interact with him on Twitter also, but his commitment to USM held strong.
What that commitment to Southern Miss did to sway him from other programs, also swayed him away from USM by its passionate fan base.
“It’s not all the fans, it’s just that the words that they were putting, I didn’t want to have my family going through that,” Richardson said. “That is one of the things that I look into for colleges. How will they treat me and my family?”
Richardson says that it only took a couple of fans to keep him away from spending the next stop of his career in Hattiesburg. This news may come as surprising for the die- hard fans of the Golden Eagles who had to suffer through an 0-12 season followed by a resurgence of Todd Monken’s staff.
Richardson says that he is still open to committing back to Southern Miss, but not before he explores his options with other programs such as Colorado State.
“I’m still going to stay in contact with Southern Miss,” Richardson said. “It’s a great school, great program and they treated me like family. I really enjoyed my visit. They will still remain in my recruiting [process].”