Paul Richardson stood on the field prior to Thursday's practice laughing and joking with head coach Jon Embree and middle linebacker Doug Rippy, who is six months into his rehab from the same injury Richardson now must overcome.
Richardson appeared to be upbeat about things despite the news and that's just the mood we found him in when he stepped outside the gates. He will undergo surgery on his knee Monday.
BSN: How have you handled the realization that you won't be able to play this season and the seriousness of your injury?
Paul Richardson "Emotionally, I'm doing pretty well. My family is making sure I take care of it and I've just been praying on it a lot. And then physically, I've been working on it with Adam and Miguel our trainers and it's been working out for the best."
BSN: Do you think there is any chance you could get back in time to play next season?
PR: "I have no idea what God has planned for me. All I can do is just go ahead with this surgery, finish school and not worry about pushing myself too hard in physical therapy."
BSN: You have a good friend in former Buff Scotty McKnight who you have leaned on at times during your career and he happens to be going through the same process right now. What has he shared with you about it?
PR: "He told me basically just to keep my head on and stay prayerful and just stay optimistic about the whole thing. I mean, that's what I've been doing. I talked to him on the phone for awhile about it and we were texting for awhile about it. He's just making sure my head is on right and I'm still focused and I don't get too depressed or anything. Just different things for suggestions as far as like coming back and what I would benefit from more like getting it stronger."
BSN: Do you think it would be most beneficial to sit out all of next season?
PR: "I mean, of course. Sitting for a year-and-a-half would be a lot better than coming back this fall, but if I'm healthy and I'm able to play, then of course I'll be playing."
BSN: You had been looking forward to a big season and being more consistent on the field, how hard was it when you realized what had happened?
PR: "I found out at 11 O'clock on Monday night. I was okay with hearing it initially, but then I called my God-mom and I was talking to her about it and it finally hit me that I could probably miss this season. So it was hard, of course, for the year we were all planning on having. I'll just worry about it day-to-day and how I'm feeling each day. If I'm progressing pretty fast that will be good. If I'm just on pace to be able to be healthy for the next season that's good too because I'll be heavier and I'll be stronger and faster as well."
BSN: If you don't play at all next season, what is Paul Richardson's role going to be with this team and this program in 2012?
PR: "Just another voice as far as helping out coach Kennedy coaching up the receivers and making sure they don't take a backseat. Honestly, I feel like this will be a good time for all of them to step up. Not that they have anything against me, but I feel like their attitude should be, 'Hey, I have this opportunity to become a big target. So let me take advantage of it.'"