SAVANNAH, Ga. -- To Milan Richard, he was just Uncle Bo. A regular guy. A typical uncle.
Milan Richard competed in the recent Georgia Junior Bowl and is among the country's top-rated tight ends.
He didn't know anything about him other than that. Didn't ask questions. Didn't think much when people in public would request Uncle Bo's autograph.
But in middle school, that changed.
Tasked with doing a report for class, Richard -- today a heavily recruited 2014 football prospect -- began to research his uncle. He came across his yardage totals, his records and saw all the hardware he won. Before long, it sank in that the man he knew as Uncle Bo wasn't your ordinary uncle at all.
Uncle Bo, or as the rest of the world knew him -- Herschel Walker -- was a sporting God in Georgia.
"He came to me and was like, 'Uncle Bo must have been pretty good,' " Milan's father, Bill Richard, recalled. "That's when me and his mom looked at each other and winked our eyes."
In the Peach State, which has produced the likes of Jackie Robinson and Ty Cobb, and is the state where Henry Aaron bested Babe Ruth's career home run record, Walker's legend arguably rivals any.
While playing for the Georgia Bulldogs in the early 1980s, he was a three-time All-American and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner. In 1980, he was the star of Georgia's most recent national championship squad.
Later, Walker earned big money in the United States Football League, and would then rush for more than 8,000 yards in the NFL.
Richard's uncle, Herschel Walker, has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated several times.
These days, his nephew is making a name for himself on the football field. And already, Milan Richard has achieved quite a bit. A 6-feet-2, 232-pound tight end at Savannah's Calvary Day School, he is rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and holds offers from several major programs, including Georgia.
"Milan has always been very athletic," Bill Richard, said.
That would make sense given the family genes. You see, not only is Walker Milan Richard's uncle, but both of Richard's parents -- Bill, a longtime employee at State Farm, and Veronica, a homemaker -- also ran track for the Bulldogs. And both of them were All-Americans.
"It's all from her," Bill Richard said while looking at his wife.
In proclaiming this, Bill Richard, a track and field teammate of Walker at Georgia, wasn't diminishing his own athletic accomplishments. He merely was paying homage to Veronica's.
Like her brother, Herschel, Veronica Richard also was a highly touted athlete and she became the runner around which the Bulldogs built a start-up women's track program.
Veronica Richard, unlike many, never was in awe of her brother.
In Athens, Walker broke records on Saturdays, and signed autographs between classes. But back in Johnson County, his sister, the oldest of seven children, had provided him with stiff competition.
"To me, he was just Bo. I'm a year older, and he looked at me like I was the oldest, so he didn't try to step over me," Veronica Richard recalled. "We competed in everything. Still do."
The Richard family, Bill, Veronica and Milan.
As Bill Richard noted, "She used to beat him in races."
Bill and Veronica met in college and began dating shortly thereafter. The next year, Herschel arrived.
"Herschel and I are still such great friends," Bill Richard said. "Back then, it was like a little rat pack."
While growing up, Veronica Richard attended Walker's games with her mother. As Walker ran roughshod over the competition, she noticed her mom's unusual mannerisms in the stands.
"I used to ask her, 'Why do you have your head down, why are you not watching the game?' " Veronica Richard recalled. "She said, 'You'll know one day if you have a child and he's playing sports.' Now, that's what I find myself doing."
Milan Richard was not overly big when born. But by the time he started playing football when he was 8 or 9, he was larger than most of the kids his age. Richard started out as a lineman for a team that, coincidentally, was called "the Dawgs."
"He was always the big kid running around out there," Bill Richard said.
The younger Richard also has played other sports, such as basketball, but by the ninth-grade was a tight end, and a good one at that.
Richard is known largely for his receiving abilities.
"At first, I knew the routes and things like that," Richard said. "I knew the curl, the slant and the comeback. But I had to learn the fundamentals and the mental aspects. That's when I started getting better."
As a 10th-grader, Richard put himself on the recruiting map with a 27-catch season.
Then, the offers started pouring in, and they haven't stopped coming. At first, they came from schools such as Clemson, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Then, on July 17, 2012, Georgia joined the club. Recently, Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma and Wisconsin offered.
"My dream would be to go to college, get a degree and stay healthy," Richard said. "If God blesses me to play that long, I'd love to play in the league and win a championship some day."
As they raise Milan, their only child, the Richards are trying to use their life experiences to guide them. They have seen football stardom up close, and know the perils that come with it. They also know it doesn't last forever.
"We always try to make Milan think," Bill Richard said. "What we've done is use every opportunity as a teaching experience, to prepare him for whatever situation."
In the Richard household, academics come first. In fact, Milan is not allowed to do interviews -- and he fields several requests each week -- until after he finishes his homework.
"Yes, we want him to play football," Veronica Richard said. "But for us, our main focus is to get a degree.
While making his mark in football, Milan Richard also has the difficult challenge of forging an identity for himself. However, that isn't easy. Often, it seems as if every story or Tweet about him mentions his famous uncle.
That, though, doesn't appear to annoy him. In fact, he embraces it.
"I really don't feel like I'm living in his shadow," Richard said. "I know I'm my own person. I feel like the people that really know me understand that. There's no pressure. Plus, I play a different position."
Which school will Richard pick? He should know by the time summer ends.
Even though Richard came to understand the significance his uncle has to many, it never changed the way he looked at him.
"Herschel has always been Uncle Bo to Milan," said Veronica Richard.
According to Richard's parents, Walker had a chance to watch Milan play in person two seasons ago.
"Herschel was like us -- he was kind of in awe with how big Milan has gotten," Bill Richard said. "But to Herschel, Milan is just one of his nephews. He doesn't treat him any different."
Milan Richard's next move will be to pick a school. The main contenders as of today are Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. He hopes to have a decision by the time his senior season begins.
According to Richard and his parents, nobody is putting pressure on Richard to pick Georgia, which received a tight end commitment from four-star prospect Jeb Blazevich of North Carolina last week.
"The decision is 100 percent mine," Richard said. "It wouldn't bother me to go to Georgia. To the public it might mean something, but to my parents it would be just another school."