Nick Richert needed to find the perfect fit.
The Seymour High School senior knew he wanted to play college football, but needed to know that his academic aspirations would also be met.
While it took a little longer than he’d hoped, Richert came to a conclusion earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Richert signed to play at Taylor University, located in Upland, Indiana.
TU is a NAIA member who plays in the Mid-State Football Association with Marian, Saint Francis, Concordia (MI), Siena Heights, Missouri Baptist and Lindenwood-Belleville.
Headed by coach Ron Kormarcher, the Trojans finished 7-3 in 2016.
“It’s pretty late in the recruiting process, but I wanted to make sure that where I was going is going to fit me personally,” Richert said. “I just had to hear both ends of the deal. The academics are phenomenal up there. I also wanted to get into a college where I could explore religion more vividly.”
In his senior year at Seymour, Richert was honorable mention All-Hoosier Hills Conference on both offense and defense as a left tackle and defensive end.
He was the only member of the team, at the start of the season, to start on both sides of the ball.
Richert, a team captain, was part of an offensive line that helped the team average 249 yards rushing per game and 31 points per game.
The offensive line gained 2,992 rushing yards, 1,608 passing and scored 52 total touchdowns.
On defense, he registered 65 tackles (53 solo) and three sacks.
“(Richert) was just relentlessly energetic,” Seymour assistant coach Brice Darling said. “His effort was 100 percent all of the time. He can make plays on both sides of the ball.
“Sometimes, people have a knack for being a gamer, and that’s just him. Even though he’s undersized he’s able to use his leverage and speed. He made plays all over the field for us on both sides.”
At 5-feet, 10-inches and 165-pounds, the staff at TU plan on having Richert play as an outside linebacker.
“In that system, he’s more of an outside linebacker or defensive end,” Darling said. “It will all depend on how his body fills out. He’s 17-years-old right now, and will put on a lot of weight and muscle. Who knows where he goes from there. He could very easily end back up on the o-line if he puts on enough weight.”
Richert, who will graduate high school at 17-years-old, plans on studying criminology and sociology.
Eight seniors members of the Seymour program have now signed to play collegiate football.
“I’m going to miss the brotherhood (at Seymour),” Richert sadi.
“The teammates here are great. The coaching staff, you knew everyone wanted you to succeed. Seymour is where my heart will be.”