Photo Courtesy of Andrew Ivins

Physical preparation drives Mark Antony Richards’ versatility

The 4-star athlete out of Wellington High School in Florida knows being dedicated to his fitness is key to dominating on the football field. He knows because he saw his brother do the same thing.

Richards’ brother, Ahmmon, is now a sophomore wide receiver at the University of Miami.

“His brother worked out like a madman in the weight room,” Wellington head coach Tom Abel said. “Mark Antony saw that and Mark is now starting to do the same.”

Working is more of an enjoyable task than a nuisance for the class of 2019 prospect. Richards is always hitting the gym or working with his teammates on the football field, and just like his brother, his work ethic and dedication help him become a commanding force on the field.

Once Abel saw Richards in action, he was convinced. And as a result, Richards has been a starter on the Wellington High School varsity team since his freshman year.

“As soon as he got the ball he took off and ran and I was like, ‘Yeah this kids got something special,’” Abel said.

That freshman has blossomed into a 6-foot 1-inch, 192-pound force that is all over the field, on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, Richards prides himself on being extremely versatile out of the backfield. He can get tough yards up the middle, but has the speed and acceleration to finish off runs. Outside the tackles, Richards is even harder to bring down. He’s one of those guys that can change the outlook of the game in a matter of seconds. Despite all this, Richards doesn’t let his playmaking ability get to his head.  

“That wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for my offensive line, so I give full props to those guys, and my coaching staff especially for putting me in the situation and giving me the opportunity to be the athlete that I am,” Richards said.

From time to time, Richards will also split out wide as a receiver to change up looks offensively. Richards doesn’t disappoint there either.

“He’s just electric, every time he touches the ball he makes something happen,” Abel said.

Defensively, Richards production doesn’t fall of either. As a defensive back, he can lock down an entire side of the field. He exudes confidence and relies on his physicality to cover anybody on the field.

“It could be like a 200-pound running back, it could be a 170-pound receiver, regardless, I’m going to get physical,” Richards said.   

His ability to consistently dominate both sides of the field comes back to his work ethic and dedication to his physical fitness. Richards is durable and ready for any opportunity or challenge that comes his way. As a result, college programs are knocking on the door.

So far, Richards has seen interest from a number of high-profile schools. Ohio State, Miami, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Louisville all have offered according to 247Sports. Richards has earned the attention, but doesn’t take his situation for granted.

“I really cherish every moment of it,” Richards said.

Even though his brother is at Miami, Richards doesn’t have his eyes set on anywhere in particular just yet. He is looking for the best fit for him both athletically and academically. Whatever program Richards ends up in will be adding a great asset.

“He’s a great team leader, he’s a great brother, he’s a great son and were blessed to have him on our team, and I’m just glad to know him as a human being,” Abel said.