December 29, 2009

Freshman Spotlight: Lance Richardson

After spending a year learning from the sidelines, true freshman Lance Richardson is looking forward to spring practice so he can both know where he fits into the Yellow Jackets defensive plans and so he can find out what he needs to do to get onto the field. Richardson came to Georgia Tech as a safety, but he could end up playing somewhere else in the spring.

Richardson along with fellow freshman Brandon Watts was tapped for defensive coordinator Dave Wommack's wolf position in a 4-2-5 alignment. The plans for the wolf were scrapped midseason and the Jackets are going with a 4-3 look for 2010.

"I think I will end up at strong safety. When I came in Coach Wommack had me at rover with Morgan Burnett. I think I am more of a strong safety type," he said. "I could also play some free safety, but I think going into the spring I will be at strong safety."

Linebacker is another position Richardson is suited for, but he is hoping his skills at safety keep him in the secondary.

"I need to work on my technique and learn more about the scheme we are using," he said. "I need to get myself into the right position and I will be good to go. Speed wise, I can compete with anyone out there. I just want to play."

Like the other true freshmen who are redshirting, Richardson says he has used him redshirt year wisely building up his strength and speed.

"It has gone pretty well. I have watched a lot of the defense and worked on taking on cut blocks. I worked on my toughness," Richardson said. "I have been working on my mindset in the weight room. I have gained around 12 pounds after losing a few. I came in at 194 and I weigh around 207 right now. I want to get to around 210 so I can maintain my speed."

Looking back at his year on the scout team, Richardson says going against the Yellow Jackets dynamic offense will be the biggest key to his future success as a defender.

"The speed of the first team offense makes everything seem easier. When the spring rolls around and when we get on the field next year, you will be up to tempo. It works a lot better than going against the threes and twos," he said. Going against the starters makes a huge difference so there is no change in speed."

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