By Trevor Enerson, CycloneFanatic.com’s Football Recruiting Guru
What he is: Sam is another small cornerback who will join the Cyclones in 2011. Rivals.com lists him at 5-foot-7, 163-pounds. They also rank him as a two-star prospect. He looks to be a player that plays a lot on instinct and perhaps a little less out of technique at this point.
What he does: As a high school player, Sam did a lot of good things. In his highlight videos, he could be seen defending on the boundary as well as on special teams both as a rusher and a returner. While Richardson looked to be a very effective corner and returner, perhaps the most impressive thing he did was block kicks. Between his sophomore and junior seasons, Sam blocked 17 of them. That’s something that you normally won’t see a 5-foot-7 guy do.
Strengths/Weaknesses: In looking over Sam’s available highlights, the one thing that stood out to me is that he has great instincts. I think that in certain situations, he would simply bait the quarterback into throwing a ball he shouldn’t and then use his athletic ability to make them pay. Sam looks to have good flexibility in the hips and is very efficient in his movement. The obvious knock on him is that he is 5-foot-7. At times, he will get picked on because of this. To make up for this he will have to use his impressive jumping ability to over come the inches he will give up on the outside. Though Richardson is only 163-pounds, he looks to be a developed 163 in the picture that were available. It doesn’t look like he is afraid to be physical either as seen by the 63 tackles his senior year. Richardson also recorded seven pass deflections, two forced fumbles and an interception.
What’s in store: The hope here is that unlike Jeremy Reeves, Iowa State will be able to redshirt Sam. I think he could use a year to work on technique. It’s not likely that Richardson is going to grow much more so he is going to have to be able to use technique to be able to overcome the height disadvantage. With the amount of corners that Iowa State currently has who seem to be capable, I think the Cyclones will be able to give him that redshirt season. After that, I certainly see him being able to push for playing time, if not a starting spot opposite Jeremy Reeves.
He looks to me like: Jeremy Reeves. I think they both hold the same strengths and weaknesses. Both are smaller guys but make up for it with athleticism and instinct. Neither are afraid to get physical with receivers either.