Ask defensive coordinators around the Pac-12 Conference about the University of Colorado, and many of them will point to wide receiver Paul Richardson as the most dangerous weapon in the Buffaloes’ improving offensive arsenal.
Take last weekend’s match-up between Colorado and Oregon: Even though Richardson’s team lost 57-16, he put the Ducks’ defensive backs to the test. The 6’1” 170-pount junior finished the game with 134 yards receiving on only five catches.
Richardson entered this season already ranked 21st in Colorado career receiving yards (1,069), 25th in career receptions (73) and tied for ninth in touchdown receptions (11).
He is one of 75 players on the official watch list for the Biletnikoff Award (he was ranked as the No. 42 wide receiver in the nation by Phil Steele’s College Football), and was named preseason second-team All-Pac 12 by Steele and Lindy’s Pac-12 Football.
Richardson has had his share of bad luck while in Boulder. In 2012, he redshirted after suffering a torn ACL in the final week of spring practice and subsequently undergoing surgery. Richardson was able to practice toward the end of the year as he healed quicker than expected.
As a sophomore in 2011, Richardson earned honorable mention All-American honors from collegefootballnews.com and made Phil Steele’s Mid-Season All-Pac 12 third-team, but a knee injury suffered during an early October practice caused him to miss four games during the middle portion of the year. Nevertheless, he was third on the team in both receptions (39) and yards (555), while being second in touchdown catches (5).
In his freshman year, Richardson earned second-team All-American honors from collegefootballnews.com and garnered third-team honors from Phil Steele’s College Football. Playing in all 12 games of the 2010 campaign, he finished third on the team in receptions with 34, but was second in both yards (514) and touchdowns (6) in averaging a team-best 15.1 yards per catch. He had a hand in four of CU’s top seven longest plays of the season.
Coming out of high school, Richardson earned Prep Star and SuperPrep All-America honors, the latter of which ranked him as the No. 26 receiver in the nation and No. 20 player in the Far West region, while Scout.com tabbed him as the No. 141 national prospect (the No. 22 receiver overall) and the No. 20 player in California.