I'm not sure why I asked the first question first, but junior Wide Receiver, Paul Richardson put up with my famous all-over-the-map style of questioning. Paul Richardson headlines a group of wide receivers that could be exciting for the Buffaloes in 2013. And he's finally healthy, after having an ultimately disappointing 2011 (due to injuries) and missing 2012. But he's definitely chomping at the bit. When I asked him the question about what he's done to prepare to play, he got really fired up. And he was nice enough to stick around instead of leaving to hang out with family.
DG: Tattoos are big for you. Any new ones you're proud of?
PR: Wanted to finish off my other sleeve before the season started, but I'm not going to do it. My favorite tattoo is this guy on my arm, it's a young man and he's praying, and at the bottom it says ‘Driven by Success'. That's what I do it all for. I do it for my family, I do it for my friends, I do it for my support system, I want to succeed.
DG: After all the knee issues, are you faster than you used to be?
PR: Oh definitely. I'm a lot faster than I used to be. It's scary. It's scary.
DG: That's good to hear. It's been a while since you were able to play a full season. What have you been doing to ensure you're going to be able to stick through it?
PR: I've been working out hard, I've been training hard. I've been taking care of my body and I'll be durable this season. I'm going to work hard and I'm definitely going to help all year.
DG: How are you liking the Pistol offense so far?
PR: It's fun, man. We do different variations of our offense, so you never get tired of it, you never get bored. Coach keeps sending me downfield so I'm going to keep making plays.
DG: Nice. How's your chemistry with Connor Wood?
PR: We have pretty good chemistry. I can't wait to see how the QB battle turns out. It's been fun so far to watch and to be a part of it, as far as receiving those passes, so whoever's getting me the ball, I'm going to be happy.
DG: I know CU wasn't your first choice, and you've had some ups and downs, with injuries and things like that, but you've stayed. And you've stayed on for three coaching staffs. Why? What about Boulder, what about CU does it for you?
PR: Just the family feel up there. No matter what, guys up there are continually and continuously supporting us and we take pride in our program. They know we have upside, and we're going to show them how much we appreciate them this fall.
DG: What's it like having Coach Walters, a guy who made a name for himself as a player, as your position coach?
PR: It's amazing, man, to have a receiver who won the Biletnikoff come in and coach me, is amazing. He just speaks volumes about me and I appreciate it because I know it's genuine, and he just encourages me to work hard. When he first came I told him that I was going to give him a run for his money. He told me he was going to work me and I told him to not let off the gas and he hasn't. He pushes me, he pushes me to extents that I haven't been pushed to before and it's been fun.
DG: Personal goals this season?
PR: Take my team to a bowl game. Take MY team to a bowl game.
DG: As a leader, what are you doing to help other guys around you?
PR: I just want to show that I'm consistent in my work ethic, consistent in my training. So they can see my consistency and compete with me, they want to work to the level that I'm working to. That they want to accomplish the things that I've done, breaking records and working hard, being known nationally, becoming a captain. I want to keep doing those things and keep encouraging my teammates.
DG: Speaking of records, are you excited to play Cal again?
PR: Oh most definitely. But we'll start off with CSU and go from there.
That's when he had to go. It wasn't the longest interview, but there was one moment that really stuck out to me. It's when he repeated, "Take MY team to a bowl game". The way he said it, the look in his eyes... man, I got excited. He's pumped and ready to go. And all the talk about bringing the young guys along was echoed by Uzo-Diribe (whose interview I'll post soon). I talked to Coach MacIntyre about that, and he's serious about leadership and what he expects from his leaders. And let me tell you, it sounds like this team actually has a pretty solid corps of leaders. That's good news, folks.