Zach Richards has verbally committed to Purdue. We had the chance to talk to Zach just after his official announcement. Richards is a class of 2021 6’3” 300 lbs 3* OL from Mooresville, Indiana just outside of Indianapolis.
Richards said, “I would say that they are a very player first organization whereas they care deeply about their players not only when they are there at Purdue but also what they do when they leave Purdue and go start their life.”
We asked Richards what about Purdue stood out to him and he said “the facilities are amazing and every time I visited I felt welcomed.”
Richards high school teammate Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter is also currently committed to Purdue and we asked if that had any impact on his recruitment and said “I’ve known him since middle school so I mean it would be huge to have someone you are already good friends with playing beside you.”
Richards is hoping to major in Sociology when he gets to Purdue and indicated that he would try to enroll early in January should things work out with classes he needs to take next year.
With Richards on board Purdue is up to six total commitments, three of which are in-state recruits, for the 2021 class. In terms of in-state recruits left on the board for 2021 Richards said he “would really love to get Donaven for sure.” This is in reference 4* QB Donaven McCulley from Indianapolis. A fully homegrown offensive line and QB class would really be a testament to Purdue’s ability to recruit in-state.
Breaking down the Tape: I’m not really sure the 6’3” 300 lbs numbers online for Richards are actually correct because the dude is absolutely massive. There are few things in sports you can’t teach and one of them is size, and at the very least Purdue is getting a big body out of Richards but he is much more than that. There are two things that stand out about Richards that are real positives. First thing is how explosive he is, both with his entire body off the snap of the ball and his hands. Personally I think he would knock someone out and brick a few ribs with his hands fighting technique if they weren’t wearing pads. Second thing is how well he moves in space, both at getting to the second level and on the outside on screens. There’s a highlight in that tape where he ends up moving out for a bubble screen and absolutely destroys a corner who had no idea what hit him. The one thing that does stick out that I think Richards needs to work on is bending his knees more and staying low. This is no easy task in general, let alone with that kind of size. This is a process strength and condition coaches work with linemen on their entire careers, so it’s going to get better and when it does, this is going to be one scary linemen.