SMU Fall Camp Notebook: Day 19

Come inside for stories and notes from today's football practice!

Richard Bringing The Energy

The way SMU linebacker Lincoln Richard behaves on the sideline, one might think that he has been in love with football since Pop Warner.

The way he makes his presence heard and felt when he puts on his helmet and runs full speed on to the field, or how he gets ‘turned up' every time someone delivers a big hit or forces a turnover all display his passion for the game.

The funny thing is, Richards never played football until middle school.

"I actually got into football late," said the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder. "I was a late bloomer at a lot of things. I was short, and I wasn't that athletic. I got into football in junior high, and I just loved it and wanted to get it so I worked hard at it."

Richard, who redshirted his first year, is now one of the standouts at SMU practices and regularly raises eyebrows with his ability to create pressure on the quarterback as well as his elite athleticism.

Having long arms and an impressive ability to elevate is something that he also utilized on the basketball court at Everman, where he was a three year starter.

"That right there comes naturally with the working hard," Richard said. "When you work hard you reap the benefits, and I ended up running faster, jumping higher and playing harder."

Richard is now focusing on transitioning from defensive end to linebacker. In high school, Richard's sole job was to get after the quarterback but now he is juggling more responsibilities.

"Learning all the coverages and stuff like that has been the hardest part," Richard said. "Here you have different schemes and things you have to learn but after you get on top of that it's a cake walk."

As far as the energy and passion Richards brings, as long as he is playing in Ford Stadium, don't expect it to go away any time soon.

"I don't even know where it comes from," Richards said. "When I feel it, I feel it and when I'm out here on this field, I feel it."

Richardson Back To Ballin'

Horace Richardson was poised and prepared to play a major role last year before the unexpected occurred.

Shortly after fellow cornerback and kick returner J.R. Richardson tore his ACL in practice, Horace unfortunately followed suit – right before he was slated to start the next game at kick return.

"It hurt, you can't even believe it at first," Richardson said about the moment when he found out he would need surgery and miss the season. "Once you get the surgery, you just get back on that horse and try to get back to where you were."

These past 11 months, Richardson has been working hard to do just that. The redshirt freshman is currently practicing without a brace and without limitations.

Richardson learned a great deal going through the rehab process and says he is actually better off because of it – both mentally and physically.

"It kind of helped because it let me get in the weight room a little bit, get stronger, learn the defense a little bit, and I also got a redshirt year back," Richardson said. "It's an obstacle so either you wanted it or you didn't. It actually makes you mentally stronger because you weren't going to get better if you weren't working."

With the depth at cornerback, Richardson has a great group of athletes to compete with every day. Richardson has really grown close to the other guys in his position group and loves the fact that they all encourage each other to be the best.

"Me and Ack (Kenneth Acker), we've got a good relationship," Richardson said. "He wants to see me do well. We stay after practice sometimes and do releases off the ball and stuff like that.

"Me and J.R. basically went through rehab together so that's like a brother to me and Parks and I are tight, real tight."

Throughout the rest of this camp and this year, Richardson hopes to get on the field as much as he can and compete at his highest capability.

"My goals right now are to get on the field, do whatever they (the coaches) need me to do, get the job done and just come out here and ball," he said.

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