High School Football

Offense-Defense Bowl notebook: UCLA-bound cousins reunite

MYRTLE BEACH

Growing up playing on the same team since their Pee Wee days in California, cousins Paul and Shaq Richardson spent their senior season on opposite teams.

When Paul's family moved outside of the Los Alamitos High School district, the wide receiver played his final season at Serra High School in Hawthorne (Calif.).

The two cousins didn't expect to play together again until this fall when they will enroll at UCLA with football scholarships on coach Rick Neuheisel's team.

However, outstanding senior seasons found them playing for the West squad in Saturday's Offense-Defense All-American Bowl.

"It's nice to get to be on the same team one last time in high school," said defensive back Shaq Richardson, one of the Bruins' top commitments in the Class of 2010. "We are both pretty competitive and made it a point to go against each other in [practice] drills.

"We have battles about who is better than who but it has been even."

Although the two share the same last name and size at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, they both admitted they were not a package deal during the recruiting process.

"Shaq took care of his business and was offered a scholarship before me," Paul said. "UCLA was my best offer so I took it, but our family is happy that they will be able to travel to our games together again."

Thomas reconsiders

O-D CCN Scholar Athlete of the Year Peter Thomas turned down a chance to play at Harvard before he decommited from Arizona State. Sporting a 4.0 grade point average, the toughest part of high school for the 6-foot-5, 220-pound quarterback has been choosing where to attend college.

After playing his prep ball at Valhalla High School in El Cajon (Calif.), Thomas has recently given Colorado State a verbal commitment to play in the pass-happy Mountain West Conference.

"After Arizona St. fired [offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks coach] Rich Olson I decided to reconsider where I wanted to go," Thomas said. "I was really honored to get an offer from Harvard and I didn't want to pass up that education, but it was too far from home."

Odds and ends

Captains in the O-D All-American game were East defensive backs Darius Robinson and Blake Sims while Justin Utupo and Terrance Broadway represented the West. The first player to touch the ball was Myrtle Beach's Jordan Butler, who kicked off for the East to begin the game. Butler, the only local product in this year's game, punted eight times for an inept East offense. ... Notre Dame commitment and East quarterback Andrew Hendrix rolled to his right and threw the ball straight into the hands of his future teammate in South Bend (Ind.), Justin Utupo. Unfortunately for Hendrix, Utupo played on the West squad and recorded an interception at the 8:27 mark in the first half.

Awards

Player of the Year | Dylan Favre (6-0, 190, QB), St. Stanislaus H.S. Bay St. Louis (Miss.);

Offensive Player of the Year | Kevin Parks (5-7, 190, RB), West Rowan H.S. Mount Ulla (N.C)

Defensive Player of the Year | Lyndon Trail (6-7, 210, DE), Booker T. Washington H.S. Miami (Fla.)

CCN Scholar Athlete | Thomas (6-5, 220, QB), Valhalla High School El Cajun (Calif.)

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