Iowa State's Richardson Has Advantage In QB Race

By Rob Gray, Reporter

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson's not looking over his shoulder.

Or the guy lurking behind somebody else's.

The sophomore's solidly No. 1 — and the first Cyclone quarterback who can say that at the start of spring ball since Austen Arnaud held that distinction over Jerome Tiller in 2010.

"It's nice," Richardson said after Tuesday's first spring practice. "I definitely like meshing with those guys."

Many of those guys aren't yet well-known names — receivers such as Tad Ecby, Dondre Daley and P.J. Harris.

Daley and Harris redshirted last season.

Ecby redshirted in 2011 and made one catch for nine yards in 2012.

"A lot of young guys," said Richardson, who threw for eight touchdowns and one interception last season. "None of the outside receivers are younger than me right now."

They're also surrounded by experienced wideouts such as Jarvis West, Albert Gary and emerging sophomore Quenton Bundrage, along with Ernst Brun at tight end.

"I certainly don't care if they know any of their names right now," said ISU coach Paul Rhoads, whose team is coming off its third bowl appearance in four years. "They've got to get to the point where they all do."

Richardson does already.

He threw to a lot of them before rising past Jared Barnett and Steele Jantz to help win last season's bowl eligibility-clinching game at Kansas, then starting in season-closing losses to West Virginia at home and Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl.

He had the flu against the Golden Hurricane.

"I threw up probably nine or ten times the night before," said Richardson, whose being trailed by redshirt freshman Grant Rohach on the depth chart. "That's where I'll leave it. I don't like bringing it up or making excuses for my play."

Instead, he seeks answers.

"He's a guy that holds a lot of meetings back there with those guys," Rhoads said. "And those guys are very comfortable sitting in those meetings and being coached by a teammate. ... You've got credibility when you've got knowledge and you approach your teammates that way."

NOTES: Touted junior college transfer E.J. Bibbs (tight end) suffered a shoulder sprain making a catch and will be day-to-day, Rhoads said. ... Defensive end David Irving (shoulder), cornerback Jansen Watson (shoulder) and running back Shontrelle Johnson (knee) did not practice. Johnson — whose career appeared in jeopardy after a severe neck injury in 2011 — is out all spring, but improving rapidly, Rhoads said. "What's RG3's rehab?" Rhoads asked rhetorically in reference to Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins. "Freakish? Or superhuman? I don't think there's any kryptonite holding Shontrelle back right now either. I think they're very pleased with how fast he's coming along."
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