Pac-12 top 25 for 2013: No. 17

Our countdown of the Pac-12’s Top 25 players from the 2013 season continues.

You can review our 2013 preseason Top 25 here.

No. 17: Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado

2013 numbers: Returning from a knee injury that kept him out of the 2012 season, Richardson caught 83 balls for 1,343 yards with 10 touchdowns. He even tossed a 75-yard touchdown to D.D. Goodson against Oregon (though Goodson did a lot of the work).

Preseason rankings: Unranked

Making the case for Richardson: When we started putting together the preseason top 25, Richardson was an interesting name. Everyone knows he’s talented, but the Pac-12 blog had tempered expectations, considering the new coaching staff at Colorado, Richardson’s injury the year before and questions at quarterback. Let's wait and see, we thought. So much for tempered expectations. Richardson was explosive and one of the most dangerous receivers in the league. A first-team All-Conference pick, he set single-season school records in receptions and receiving yards. Of those 83 receptions, 51 went for first downs and his 10 touchdowns spanned 470 yards – giving him an average of 47 yards per touchdown reception. Eight of his 10 scores this year went for 28 yards or longer – including two 75-yard touchdown receptions and an 82-yard score. Few players in the country were able to stretch the field the way Richardson did in 2013.

The countdown:

No. 18: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford

No. 19: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

No. 20: Trevor Reilly, DE/OLB, Utah

No. 21: Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State

No. 22: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

No. 23: Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon

No. 24: Josh Huff, WR, Oregon

No. 25: Myles Jack, LB/RB, UCLA