The Gomez Files: Scrimmage Notes

Aug. 21, 2003

By Brian Gomez
TheSunDevils.com

PAYSON, Ariz. -- It's easy to lose sight of Arizona State's Terry Richardson whenhe's surrounded by talented receivers, such as sophomore Derek Hagan, juniorDaryl Lightfoot and senior Skyler Fulton.

The redshirt freshman wide-out from Centennial High School (Corona, Calif.)made sure people noticed him Tuesday morning during a full-contact scrimmage byhauling in three passes for 65 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown receptionfrom freshman quarterback Sam Keller.

'It feels good to finally be playing,' said Richardson, who figures tocompete for time this season with sophomore wide receiver Matt Miller, among others.

Richardson scored one of his team's two passing touchdowns by getting opendown the sidelines when sophomore cornerback Mike Davis Jr. bit on Keller's pumpfake. He cleanly caught the perfectly-thrown lob pass, before tiptoeing intothe corner of the end zone.

On the second string's opening drive, Richardson marked two receptions for 35yards, including one on a post pattern over junior cornerback EmmanuelFranklin. The drive stalled when junior defensive end Ishmael Thrower recoveredKeller's fumbled snap.

'It's still a learning process, but it's a more comfortable learningprocess,' Richardson said. 'You're just remembering now. I've learned stuff already,and it's just a matter of putting it in action.'

Richardson looked impressive on ASU's practice squad last season, earning theMcBurney Offensive Scout Team award. He hopes the success carries over tothis fall, when he'll be asked to handle increased responsibilities.

'All of our receivers have different things about us,' Richardson said. 'Oneguy runs perfect routes. My strength is my hands. Another receiver's is hisspeed.

'I really don't know what I'm going to bring, but I'm sure the coaches know.They'll put me wherever they think they need me to contribute.'

KUDOS FOR KELLER: Playing in his first scrimmage as a Sun Devil, Kellerraised some eyebrows Tuesday at Rumsey Park by completing 6 of 10 passes for 128yards and two touchdowns.

Keller gunned a 53-yard touchdown strike to sophomore Moey Mutz shortlybefore hooking up with Richardson. His pass was right on target to Mutz, who gotbehind the secondary and streaked into the end zone.

'The one touchdown was a difficult throw, but you have to make the routinethrows, and I missed a few of the routine throws that would have put us in abetter position,' Keller said. 'The offense is much more complex than the one Iran in high school, and it's so much faster. Everything about my game needs tobe a little bit quicker.'

RUN, MATT, RUN: Who said linemen couldn't run?

Defensive tackle Matt Mason flashed his speed and athleticism Tuesday bydeflecting redshirt freshman Kellen Bradley's pass, before intercepting it andbarreling 48 yards for a touchdown.

'I thought back to a state championship game in high school when anotherdefensive lineman deflected the ball and I picked it off and ran 81 yards, but gothawked on the 11,' said Mason, who injured his right elbow later in thescrimmage. 'The entire time I kept looking back and checking my tracks. Once I madeit in, I was pretty happy. I was going to do a pancake flop, but I decided alittle showboating wouldn't be good right now.'

Said sophomore tailback Hakim Hill: 'I've never seen a 280-pounder move likethat. That boy is big.'

COACH'S AUDIBLES: ASU head coach Dirk Koetter said he called about 100offensive plays and 44 specialty plays … He was particularly pleased with his team'stackling and speed on defense … He was impressed most by Keller of all thequarterbacks and by redshirt freshman Randy Hill of all the tailbacks.

Reach the reporter at brian.gomez@asu.edu or visit him online at his website.

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