T-Rich is Poised for Prosperous Season

Terry Richardson was the crown jewel of ASU's 2002 recruiting class. However, the excitement over his arrival slowly turned into disappointment. He redshirted his freshman year, and followed that with a very uneventful 2003 campaign. Ever since spring practice, Richardson is starting to erase all the doubts over his talent. He told DevilsDigest that even though the lessons may have been painful, the experience he has gained thus far has been invaluable.

The importance of participating in the off-season strength and conditioning program is an issue that is stressed by the Sun Devil coaches year in and year out. Terry Richardson had to attend to the family's business in the summer of 2002, which prevented him from spending the off-season in Tempe. This unfortunate series of events resulted in a steeper than usual learning curve for Richardson, and ultimately to the rise to prominence of a much less heralded wideout in Richardson's class – Derek Hagan.

These days Richardson is no longer wide eyed due to inexperience. "I'm feeling good at camp," he exclaimed. "I'm feeling like a veteran. Now that I know my stuff it makes it a lot easier." The sophomore acknowledged the fact that a strong showing in spring practice has proved to be the basis of his current success. "All of us that did well in the spring are doing well now," he said. "I felt that spring was a good progression for me. I didn't come out and make the same mistake everyday. Spring was like a pre-camp Tontozona, and now we're just reviewing and getting stuff installed for our opponents."

No one ever doubted Richardson's physical skills. At 6-1 184 he's a perfect combination of strength and speed. He has been portrayed by head coach Dirk Koetter as one that can make the acrobatic catch and think while his feet are in the air. Richardson admitted that he needed to improve physically, but his understanding of the game was by far the most important aspect for his improvement.

"Getting stronger and learning my plays were the two areas I needed to improve on," he remarked. "Learning my plays was probably more important than the physical part. Once you know what you're doing, you can move to the next step. You can read defenses; you can read defensive backs, read body language, read all that stuff that can help the offense. I'm not out there lost, running around, and not sure what to do. I'm even helping out the linemen with blitz calls. I'm just more confident because I know what's going on."

Koetter stressed that Richardson hasn't cemented yet the starting job opposite Hagan, but during fall camp it has become quite evident that it's Richardson's job to lose. "Locking down a starting spot is my main goal," said Richardson. "I want to help out Derek (Hagan), and give Andrew (Walter) another target. When you're on the sidelines you can't help the team. That's why me and all the receivers need to get better so we'll be out there helping the offense. All the receiving core knows what type of players we are. We have a great quarterback in Andrew, and we as receivers have to help him out so he can make plays."

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