Photo : Sherry Milliken/TexasHSFootball

WAXAHACHIE, Texas — A year from now Ellis County, Texas’ Demani Richardson could join the Southeastern Conference and new Aggie coach Jimbo Fisher.

If his Saturday night verbal commitment stands the test of time.

Richardson announced his pledge to Texas A&M over Alabama, Baylor, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas Christian University and Texas via social media.

“Texas A&M is close to home — only two and a half hours down the road,” Richardson said. “I liked it from the very start and Coach Fisher is a great man with a lot of knowledge.”

His potential and talent, though, may prove the “Path to the League” trophy case in the background a bit of foreshadowing. There are seven other programs vying for the 6-foot-2 and 205-pound safety’s services, all from Power 5 Conferences like the Big 12 and Big Ten.

According to 24/7Sports’ Composite Rankings, Richardson grades out as the No. 6 Class of 2019 safety in the nation. He is also the No. 19 athlete in Texas. That puts the four-star Indian in higher standing than Alpharetta (GA) safety Joseph Charleston and Gilbert (AZ) safety Noa Pola-Gates.

Mansfield Legacy (TX) quarterback and safety Jalen Catalon is on that list of the country’s best, too.

Richardson has until either the early signing period between Dec. 20 and Dec. 22 or the regular signing period between Feb. 7 and April 1 to make his commitment official.

Richardson’s impact in 2017

With Richardson on the backend of its secondary, Waxahachie High School finished 8-5 overall. The varsity program was also 4-3 in a aptly named 10-5A “District of Doom” containing the likes of Lancaster High School and Mansfield Lake Ridge, Legacy, and Summit High Schools.

Richardson, a two-way athlete, accounted for  18 of the Indians’ 112 total tackles and three of the team’s 15 total interceptions defensively. He also caught 13 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another 519 yards and seven TDs.

Richardson (center right) makes a tackle during Waxahachie’s third-round playoff game against Frisco Lone Star in 2017. Sherry Milliken/TexasHSFootball

He enjoyed his greatest strides of success under former Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Jon Kitna. The Indians’ former sideline general recently left the ISD to accept a similar position at Brophy College Preparatory School in Arizona.

Waxahachie ISD has yet to name a successor to either position.

“I will miss him a lot, of course. He was a great role model and coach,” Richardson said. “I still have to approach [the coaching change] the same way I approach every season — be ready to go whenever and wherever my team needs me. I think we will do great regardless of who the new head coach is when the season starts.”

Richardson will have to adjust to both the coaching change and the program’s move to the UIL 6A classification after the Feb. 1 realignment period. Waxahachie currently sits in District 7-6A with Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Mansfield High, Grand Prairie, Mansfield Lake Ridge, Mansfield Summit, and South Grand Prairie.

All eight teams reached the postseason last season.

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