Sam Richardson, the Quarterback
AMES, Iowa - Every time you mention Iowa State freshman football player Sam Richardson in the fall, you better be prepared to answer the question "which one?" Of the 24 Cyclone recruits in the 2011 class, two go by the name Sam Richardson.
There are a pair of answers to the above question. Be sure to enunciate. One Sam Richardson is a cornerback from League City, Texas. The other is a quarterback from Winter Park, Fla.
Listed at 6 feet 1 inch, 198 pounds, true freshman quarterback Sam Richardson has been playing the game since the eighth grade. He first lined up at receiver. With two games left in that season, he became the team signal caller and has remained at the position ever since.
Richardson earned the starting quarterback nod midway through his sophomore season at Winter Park High School in the Orlando, Fla. metro. In the spring of 2010, Richardson made his commitment to become a Cyclone. He feels at home in Ames.
"It's the family environment," Richardson said about why he chose Iowa State. "The coaching staff is one of the best in the nation and after being here I can see it for myself.
Everyone incorporates you and a lot of hard work goes into every day."
Richardson arrived on the Iowa State campus nearly five weeks ago.
Helping Richardson along the road to becoming a Cyclone were his high school quarterbacks coach, Steve Moffett, a former UCF quarterback, and his father, Lonnie.
"Coach Moffett went on many of my (recruiting) trips," Richardson said. "He and my dad were the biggest supporters in the process, helping me make the right decisions."
Iowa State wide receivers coach Courtney Messingham was the one who reached out to Richardson.
"What stuck out was (Richardson's) leadership and ability to win football games," Messingham said.
Richardson's team lost just one regular season game over a 2 ½ year period with the new Cyclone a starter at Winter Park.
"In our system we look for quarterbacks that are accurate as a passer and have the mobility to run," Messingham said. "He comes from a system similar to ours where had the opportunity to do that."
A duel threat player, Richardson realizes what he can bring to the Cyclones in their spread offense.
"I'm always trying to make some sort of play with the ball," Richardson said. "I keep my eyes down field and am aware; always trying to make something happen. It's not that I'm a great passer or a great runner, I think it's just a mixture of both."
That mindset explains how the new Cyclone broke Winter Park school records for passing yards and passing touchdowns by recording 2,742 yards passing and throwing for 34 touchdowns. Dashing for 590 yards on the ground with five TDs affirms his versatility.
Richardson describes himself as a hard worker, which fits the style of both the program and the coach.
"(Coach Rhoads) is a die-hard football guy," Richardson said. "I already love being able to have the opportunity to play for him. From what I've seen on game days, he's definitely someone for whom you want to play."
As for the upcoming season, Richardson understands his role.
"My goal is to get better," he said. "If I get the opportunity (to play), I'll take it and roll with it. Whether I redshirt or not, I just have to stay focused and be a leader to my recruiting class."
Richardson has big goals for his time as a Cyclone. He will wear number 12 during the upcoming season.