On Top of His Game

Among the letters of intent that rolled off BYU's fax machine last week was one from Idaho's Jordan Richardson. In early January, BYU had not yet offered the two-sport superstar, but when the offer finally came later in the month, it was a dream come true.

The history between BYU and the Richardson family goes back quite a ways. His father Lance Richardson was an All-American candidate out of high school and was recruited to play football at BYU until he broke his back at the MTC while lifting weights. His older brother Brock was recruited by Coach Kaufusi out of high school and is currently serving a mission.

When BYU offered Jordan Richardson a full ride scholarship to play football, accepting the offer just seemed like the right thing to do.

"Well, I don't really know what to say," said Richardson. "I just kind of knew that once I got the offer I should just go there. It's always been a dream of mine since I was a kid to play at BYU. My dad actually was going to go play for BYU but broke his back and wasn't able to, so my family are big BYU fans. It's always been a dream of mine. Once I got the offer I knew I should take it.

"I've known Coach Kaufusi for a while, and he recruited my brother who actually went to Snow College and is now on a mission. He'll be back in a couple of weeks and will go to Snow College for another year and then he may go to BYU also. Coach Kaufusi has always been really nice to me and I like him a lot. My defensive line coach, Coach Dickson, helped me out a lot as well. He and Coach Anae are good friends, and they coached together at Ricks College."

Since his junior year at Bonneville High School in Idaho Falls, Richardson has come into his own with room to grow. Richardson has excelled both on the football field and on the wrestling mat where he currently holds top honors in both sports.

"I'm 6-4 and 255 pounds," Richardson said. "During wrestling it's hard to keep my weight up so right now I'm about 240, but during football I was 255. I don't try to lose weight during wrestling because I wrestle as a heavy weight, but I usually sweat off around 10 pounds during practices, but I'll get my weight back up there.

"I'm doing really good actually. Just tonight I got my 100th career win and my record for this year is 30 and 4. As a junior I went 40 and 7 and took third place in state. I'm currently ranked number one in state this year and I know it will be tough but I hope I can do it."

Richardson is currently ranked as the number heavyweight wrestler in the state of Idaho. He was also named first team all-state selection for both offense and as a defensive lineman.

"I was able to make First Team All-State for offensive line and First Team All-State for defensive line," Richardson said. "I was named All-Conference (High Country Conference) for both ways as well."

So what on-field accomplishments earned Richardson Idaho's top honors?

"I can't quite remember all my stats, but I know I was the leading tackler on my team," said Richardson. "I started both ways, on both the offense and defensive lines and got the linemen of the year on my team. I made player of the game against Rigby High School. My guess is I had around 60 tackles and six to eight sacks. I don't really know for sure the exact numbers."

What ever the exact numbers are one thing is for sure, Richardson's accomplishments did not go unnoticed by BYU coaches. They had their eye on the Idaho linemen and watched his progression as the prep season went on. In the end, things worked out so that BYU extended an offer to the gem state's top lineman prospect.

"I know they had a few ahead of me who turned down the offers and that's how I was able to get it," said Richardson. "The coaches told me that I have good effort and they like that on their defense. I've been able to work really hard, and my brother has taught me how to work hard. It's just a dream come true for me.

"The three colleges that offered me scholarships were Snow College, BYU and ISU. The rest of the schools weren't quite as heavy. I had Utah, Oregon, Boise State, University of Idaho and all the schools around here recruit me but the ones that recruited me the most were Snow, ISU and BYU."

Idaho's top wrestler will dawn the blue and white and try to continue a legacy that was started by the recruitment of his father Lance. Richardson already has the credentials as player who bench pressed 335 pounds and squatted 460 while a junior last year. The honors and accomplishments have not turned Richardson into a self-absorbed, egotistical person. Rather, Richardson knows he can always be better and is humble and teachable enough to be exactly the type of player Coach Mendenhall wants representing Brigham Young University.

"I do have a lot of room for improving," Richardson said. "But my best ability is the ten yard dash. When I went to the Junior Day at BYU, they timed our ten yard dash from one cone to a bag that simulates how fast you can get to the quarterback. I was able to get the fastest time at that during the camp, so I'm good at bursting off the ball but I do need to work on my forty time a bit more. I'll just work hard at that and do more squats and stuff to improve. I'll do what ever it takes to be better."

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