Healthy ‘P-Rich’ Wants To Make Noise As CU Captain
BOULDER – Junior wide receiver Paul Richardson is humble by nature and usually cares little about being seen or heard. But the 2013 football season is different; “P-Rich” is a Colorado captain and has the potential to be a game-changer.
This fall, he knows quiet won’t cut it.
“I have a lot of respect for my teammates and being selected as a captain shows that they respect me too,” said Richardson. “I’m very appreciative of this opportunity.”
On the playing field, he is one of CU’s biggest offensive threats. He enters the current season ranked 21st in career receiving yards (1,069) and 25th in career receptions (73), despite missing all of last season with a torn ACL. His numbers are impressive, but he is committed to making a similar impact off the field.
Humbled by the opportunity bestowed upon him, Richardson is eager to start the 2013 season alongside his teammates.
“My teammates mean the world to me,” said the Los Angeles, Calif., native. “I’ve never felt the way I feel about my teammates. From the coaches, to coming to practice every day - I’ve never felt this feeling before. Everything feels right. I’m not saying that to be cliche, I’m saying it because it’s true. I’m very grateful to be a captain of these guys.”
Richardson’s persistence to grow as a player and as a leader has not only been noticed by his teammates, but by the CU coaching staff as well.
“From this spring, he’s been the leader of the wide receiver group,” said wide receivers coach Troy Walters. “He’s worked hard with his rehab and doing what he needs to do to get back on the field. You wouldn’t even know he was hurt if you came out and watched him.
“He’s a leader for our offense. He’s explosive. He’s going to be our playmaker. He wants to be great. Every day that he comes out to practice, he works as if he wants to be the best in the country.”
Walters, a former All-American and Biletnikoff Award winner, understands the importance of having someone like Richardson that is committed to guiding and positively influencing others on the team.
“When you’re a player, it’s a great honor to be chosen as a captain,” said Walters. “Paul has cherished that role and I’ve seen him grow as a leader even from spring workouts. He’s not only a leader on the field, but also vocally. He is great about taking the young guys aside and mentoring them.”
Mentoring his teammates is something that Richardson truly believes in. Hoping to do for others what was once done for him, Richardson’s eagerness to help his team is something he learned from those that came before him. Richardson cites former CU wide receiver Scotty McKnight (2006-10), a senior when Richardson arrived to the program as a true freshman, as one of his biggest role models.
“As far as being a leader, I try to imitate Scotty,” said Richardson. “He was the best role model a receiver could ever have. I still talk to him every week. When I go home to Los Angeles, he comes to visit me. He taught me what it takes to be a great leader. As a young guy, he took me under his wing when he didn’t even know me. He saw something in me that made him want to push me to be better. That’s what I’ve been trying to do with our young guys, and even some of the older guys. I try to keep them focused and keep them involved.”
Richardson leads by example and is now the standout wide receiver that hopes to make an impact on those around him.
“When my time at Colorado is through, I just want to be remembered as a good leader and someone my teammates looked up to and respected,” said Richardson. “I want to be remembered as a guy that helped turn this program around through leadership.”