After not playing much in 2011 thanks to a knee injury and not at all in 2012 because of a different knee injury, Paul Richardson was chomping at the bit to get back on the football field for the Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs, coming off a 1-11 2012 campaign, are breaking in a new coaching staff with Mike MacIntyre taking over in Boulder and Richardson has been dynamic in the new offense. His play is a major part of Colorado’s 2-0 start and he could be making a case for being the best receiver in all of college football.
Through two games, nobody has been as prolific as Richardson at hauling in passes. He has 21 catches for a college football leading 417 yards, averaging a ridiculous 19.9 yards per catch with four touchdowns. If he surpasses 200 yards again in Colorado’s next game, he would become the first Pac 12 player in history with three consecutive games with 200 yards receiving or more. He’s been a major reason that Connor Wood has looked so comfortable at quarterback so far this season and helped Colorado double their win total from a year ago already.
With the struggles of defending Biletnikoff Award winner and USC Trojans star Marqise Lee so far this season, the position of top wideout in college football is available. Richardson is showing no signs of being slowed by his knee injuries and making the most of every opportunity he gets so far this year. His position coach raved about Richardson’s work this offseason saying that “the sky is the limit” for the returning pass catcher in 2013. Turns out, he may not have been far off.
It’s a long season and teams will start to rotate their coverage heavily towards Richardson, so he isn’t likely to continue to average more than 200 yards per game. But the talent of the Colorado offensive leader is undeniable and his production after missing almost two years of action is awe inspiring. Can he continue his strong showing and finish the year as the best pass catcher in the country?