Richards heads to Oklahoma State for more football

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

67 Shane Richards700wWhen any NMMI athlete signs with a Division I college, it’s a big deal. But Wednesday’s football signing has special meaning to school superintendent Major General Jerry Grizzle, AUS (Ret.)

Bronco offensive lineman Shane Richards inked a scholarship with Oklahoma State University, one of the top Division I football schools in the country, which also happens to be Grizzle’s alma mater.

Richards was recruited by head coach Joe Forchtner just days before players were scheduled to report for the 2014 school season. Richards who’s from Canada by way of Jamaica, was playing for Team Canada at the World Football Cup in Kuwait when he got the call.

OklaSUlogo“What we saw was somebody who was pretty raw and could turn into somebody who’s pretty good,” Forchtner said. “He had a long way to go as far as strength goes, and he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. But if you see a guy who’s 6-7, 330 pounds and is athletic, how do you pass up on a guy like that?”

OSU started looking at Richards several years ago. But because he didn’t immediately qualify under NCAA rules, he came to NMMI, which he said was a good decision.

Pocket protection for NMMI QB Conner Cramer was perfect on this passing play against Snow College on Oct. 31, 2015, with Shane Richards doing his part in the background.

Pocket protection for NMMI QB Conner Cramer was perfect on this passing play against Snow College on Oct. 31, 2015, with Shane Richards doing his part in the background.

“Coming out of high school, I didn’t think I was in a position to go to a regular college and stay focused,” he said. While he admits it wasn’t easy, he credits the Institute with helping him learn what he needs to succeed in the future.

“It’s not going to be a fun time, most of the time,” the sophomore said. “But you’re going to take things from this place that you’re going to use everywhere.”

Grizzle agreed.

“The things he will leave here with are things you are not going to get in a regular junior college or other school environment,” the general said. “Organizational skills; time management skills; self confidence to stand up in front of a group. All of those things come out of NMMI and we know he’ll take them to OSU. He’ll be a team leader, right off the bat, because of those things. So we’re just excited for him. I’m excited for my alma mater. They’re going to get a fantastic young man. Go ’Pokes!”

Richards is happy the Cowboys stuck with him through his time at NMMI. He said the campus is beautiful; likes the living arrangements — extra long beds work well for his 6-7 frame; is impressed with the training facilities; “And they feed you well,” he laughed.

The Bronco hopes to continue to play at right tackle, a spot he moved into in 2015 after playing at left tackle during high school and his first season at NMMI. But he’s open to change.

“If they want to put me at guard, that’s something I can work on doing too.”

During his sophomore year, Richards’ talents at right tackle helped the Broncos rack up 375 points, good for 19th in the nation among juco teams in scoring, as well as 11th in total offense with 4,759 yards.

He thanked Forchtner, his parents and God for getting him where he is today.

He plans on studying criminal justice at OSU, and is glad the stress of signing is over.

“I’m happy it’s done. Now I can focus on my school right now.”

And Forchtner is pleased not only with Richards, but the several dozen other Broncos who are heading out to future gridiron adventures.

“We’re proud of Shane. We’re proud of all the guys. It’s a high profile program. He’s a high profile recruit. We’re proud of him just like we’re proud of everybody else.”

3 Responses to Richards heads to Oklahoma State for more football

  1. Rose Thompson says:

    I am so proud of Shane! I have known him from a little boy – not that big nor that tall, but he was a good student, handsome with a winning smile and destined to go places. Am so proud of him as a Jamaican and doing our country proud. Ride on Shane, Ride on and God go with you in all your undertakings. Wishing you every success.

    Auntie Rose – Jamaica

  2. Corrine says:

    Shane, I am so proud of you. Keep riding with God in the front seat. The sky is the limit. All the best.
    Make your parents proud.

  3. Sidney shepherd jr says:

    Great job bro! This type of stuff keep me motivated. I just graduated and I’m trying to attend this college and be on this same page. Im gone be here one day. I just need this school to give me a chance.

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