Back in June of 2010, Pittsburgh Steelers fifth-round draft pick, cornerback Shaquille Richardson, was dismissed from UCLA along with two other players after the three were arrested by campus police and charged with suspicion of felony theft after allegedly stealing a student’s bag out of a locker. Richardson, a freshman at the time, transferred to Arizona. On Tuesday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was asked about Richardson’s past transgressions and why he felt comfortable drafting him during an interview on 93.7 The Fan.
“Yeah, we knew about that incident and really it was an incident that involved more than one player,” said Colbert. “He could of had the option to stay at the university, but he hadn’t reported as of yet and he just decided that it was best to move on along with a couple of other guys that left.
“But we were very comfortable with his character the more we met with him. We talked to him again at the East-West game. We talked to him when he came in here and we were certainly comfortable where he is right now as a college senior as opposed to where he might have been as a college freshman.”
During the press conference following the selection of Richardson by the Steelers, defensive backs coach Carnell Lake also vouched for the player that he actually recruited for UCLA prior to him leaving the program in February of 2010.
“He was instantly likeable when we brought him in (for a pre draft visit),” said Lake. “He’s a likeable young man.”
As for the felony charges against Richardson, they were ultimately dropped, but strangely enough, that wasn’t the last time he will be linked to UCLA.
During Arizona’s 2011 game against UCLA, Richardson was ejected four seconds before the end of the first half after tape showed him being the center of an on-field brawl that erupted after a man disguised as a referee rushed the field after a play ended. As a result of his actions, Richardson was suspended for the next game by the Pacific 12 Conference. Video of the incident is below.
Now that he’s with the Steelers, Richardson will not only be reunited with Lake, but third-year safety Robert Golden as well. Golden, who was signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2012, was a teammate of Richardson’s at Arizona.
“He (Golden) texted me and I texted him back,” said Richardson during his conference call with the media on Saturday following his selection by the Steelers. “He said he’s going to take care of me and all that stuff so I’m really happy about that too. I have some comfort.”
During his four years at Arizona, Richardson recorded 10 interceptions and 189 total tackles.
“I think we got a good one,” said Lake.