There wasn’t a whole lot for the Colorado Buffaloes to take away from the 2012 season and feel good about. They went just 1-11 and were routinely run off the field as they tumbled to the bottom of the Pac 12 standings. Those struggles led to a coaching change and now Mike MacIntyre has the unenviable task of rebuilding the Buffs into a contender. One reason to like MacIntyre’s chances in 2013, however, is the return of Paul Richardson at wide receiver who could develop into one of the best pass catchers in the country next fall.
Colorado’s struggles were only exacerbated by the loss of Richardson before the 2012 season. There were high expectations for the talented wide receiver heading into his junior season after he caught 39 passes for 555 yards and five touchdowns in 2011 during his sophomore campaign over just nine games. Before his knee injury, the Colorado coaching staff were expecting Richardson to be a breakout star.
Without him, the whole passing game struggled. While some of that was the overall struggles of an overmatched team, not having their best player was a major deflation to the receiving corps. The Buffs had to rely on a lot of youth and inexperience and didn’t have a single player catch more than 50 passes or gain more than 500 yards. With Richardson back and at full strength, that will not be the case in 2013.
New Colorado receivers coach Troy Walters has been blown away by the skill set that Richardson has put on display this spring. The former Biletnikoff Award winner has raved about his receiver’s speed, coachability, route running ability, great hands and says he has an “extra gear” that the coach doesn’t see often in college football.
Walters expects great things out of Richardson, saying “The sky is the limit,” up to and including a Biletnikoff Award for himself and being named a consensus All-American. Can Richardson take off with a clean bill of health in 2013?