From Sneak Preview To Main Attraction

The accolades bestowed on Terry Richardson during his redshirt year has made this wide receiver one of the closely followed players by fans in the 2003 spring practice. ASU coaches were pondering playing him as a true freshman, and judging by the last couple of weeks it is easy to see why. Entering his first year of play for the Sun Devils, Richardson talked to DevilsDigest about his performance and expectations for the upcoming season.

The Centennial High School standout from Corona, CA humbly says that his showing in spring practice is now up to par after a lukewarm start. "It's going pretty good." Says the 2001 PrepStar All-American who was listed as the No. 3 wide receiver in the West. "It started off kinda slow, learning the offense and everything. It's just more technical now for me, but it's all right. I'm performing just like I thought I would." The unassuming redshirt freshman, who played in the prestigious CaliFlorida Bowl game, isn't too worried about anybody else's expectations, but those of the coaches and his own. "I gotta feel that I'm doing a good job. When you get feedback from your coaches you know what you're doing right or wrong. I have my own expectations too, and I set them pretty high – that way you always work hard to get better."

Richardson's performance so far in the spring, coupled with a fairly wide-open competition at his position, could be enough to land him a starting role. However, he isn't really all that concerned about that issue. "I'm not worried about starting or not. I think we're all just worrying about learning our jobs, and doing them well. When we all compete against each other, we all become better. Whoever plays the best will be on the field for more plays. I hope that's me in the end." The wide receiver who had 973 yards and 13 touchdowns as a high school senior looks forward to possibly duplicating that feat catching passes from ASU's signal caller Andrew Walter. "Catching passes from Andrew Walter is pretty sweet (smile). He has a great arm like everybody knows, and is very accurate. He's one of the best in the Pac-10, and he can help all the receivers look good."

Even though it was difficult to be sidelined last year, he does realize the positives of redshirting in 2002. "It's hard for any competitor to just watch the games and not play in them. But looking at it right now it really benefited me. I'm stronger, faster, and I know a lot more. Now, I can get on the field faster. I understand the routes and the plays better than I did last year. I just have to worry about competing now." Speed isn't only an attribute Richardson posses, but is also the biggest difference in his mind between practicing on the scout team and taking reps with the first or second team. "Everything is live and faster now that you're not on the scout team. It's not that it was very slow on the scout team, but when you play on the first and second team, it's a different speed. It's just a whole different level." A solid performance by Terry Richardson could indeed take his play and the Sun Devils' offense to new and exciting heights.

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