Tennessee OL Richardson Declares For NFL Draft

Junior Tackle Played In 36 Games And Started 24 Times

Friday, December 6, 2013 - by Special to Chattanoogan.com
Antonio Richardson, center, has decided to forego his senior year at Tennessee and enter the 2014 National Football League draft. Richardson played in 36 games for the Vols, starting 24.
Antonio Richardson, center, has decided to forego his senior year at Tennessee and enter the 2014 National Football League draft. Richardson played in 36 games for the Vols, starting 24.
- photo by UT Sports

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Offensive tackle Antonio Richardson will declare for the NFL Draft, forgoing his final year of eligibility at the University of Tennessee.

"We appreciate Antonio's efforts and contributions to the University of Tennessee Football," said head coach Butch Jones. "He will always be a Vol For Life and we wish him all the best as he looks to further his career in the National Football League."

The Nashville native was an All-SEC second-team selection by the Associated Press in 2012. In 2013, he was an SEC preseason first-team honoree. He was also named to the watch lists for the Lombardi and Outland Trophies.

"After praying and talking it over with my family and coaches, I believe that now is the right time to make a statement about my future," said Richardson. "I have truly loved every moment of being a Tennessee Volunteer and will always be a Vol For Life. As much as I have enjoyed my time at Tennessee, I have long dreamed of playing in the NFL and taking care of my family. After careful consideration, I have decided to forego my senior year and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

"I am grateful to all of my Tennessee coaches and everyone in the football program who made my life easier, from trainers to tutors to our fans, who are the best in the country. I am ready for the next level and look forward to what I know will be an exciting challenge."

In his three years on Rocky Top, Richardson played in 36 games, starting the final 24 over the last two seasons at left tackle. This past season, Richardson was part of an offensive line that aided the Vols gaining 2,261 rushing yards, the most by the team since 2004.

In 2012, Richardson helped the offense to 475.9 yards per game (20th in NCAA) and 315.6 yards of passing offense (15th in NCAA).

With Richardson manning left tackle, the Vols allowed just 23 sacks over the last two years, including just eight in 2012, the fourth fewest in the NCAA at 0.67 per game. Tennessee had five games of more than 500 yards of total offense in 2012.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)



Hannah Gasaway Signs Golf Commitment With Dalton State

It is a hard balance between choosing a Division I program or going the NAIA route. One offers seemingly instant fame while the other provides a lower-key environment that fosters a stronger sense of community. The latter is what Union Grove golfer Hannah Gasaway wanted. It’s what she will get at Dalton State, the North Georgia college she verbally committed to last month. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Swim League Standings & Results

CHATTANOOGA AREA SWIM LEAGUE STANDINGS BLUE DIVISION Dalton           7-0 Signal Mountain   4-3 Stuart Heights     4-3 Ooltewah            2-5 Fairyland             ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Non-Custodial Father Who Picked Up Children At Chattanooga Daycare Is Caught In Ohio

A non-custodial father who picked up his children at a Chattanooga daycare and headed north has been caught in Ohio. T ony Thomas and the children have been located in Toledo. T homas is in custody in Lucas County and awaiting extradition. T he children were unharmed and will be in Child Protective Services custody until the mother is able to pick them up. ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Pre-Fourth Observations

I hate to do this, right on the heels of my monthly ‘Walk in the Garden,’ but I have more things on my desk that I dare not leave unnoticed before tomorrow’s Star-Spangled celebration. Foremost is the plea to anyone who shoots off firecrackers to please wear eye protection and ask watchers to stand back. Our eye doctors say firecracker-related injuries have doubled in the last three ... (click for more)