BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado star receiver Paul Richardson has decided to redshirt this year rather than rush back from a torn knee ligament.
Richardson tore his left ACL in the spring but had made such good progress in his recovery that he had circled the Buffaloes' Sept. 22 game against Washington State for his possible return.
Instead, the junior said Wednesday that he had decided to take this season off "and get healthy."
"After talking to the coaches and doctors and my family, I'm going to take a year off and work on getting back for next season," Richardson said. "Knowing that I'd miss two or three games this season, I just didn't want to start off like that."
Coach Jon Embree said as much as he'd love to have him back, he was relieved Richardson had decided to take things slowly.
"I wasn't fired up about Paul rushing back," Embree said. "When we as a staff had this conversation back in June, I went around asking the coaches what they would want to happen if he was available. Then I posed the question as if it were your son and what would you want? The answer changed.
"I look at all these kids like they are my own kids. I know if that was my son, I would want him to get healthy-healthy and not rush it back. ... I want him to be healthy. This is about a career not necessarily a season."
Richardson has caught 73 passes for 1,069 yards and 11 touchdowns in two seasons. He really burst onto the scene with an 11-catch, 284-yard, two-TD performance against Cal last fall.
Embree sure could have used his explosiveness as the Buffs try to bounce back from a 3-10 season, their first foray into the Pac-12. But he said sitting out this season is the smart thing for Richardson to do.
"I just don't want the kid's career ruined. I think he has a bright future. This will allow him to do some things in the weight room and get stronger and bigger," Embree said. "I believe you can learn a lot when you don't play. It will refuel his passion for his game, but more importantly from what he's doing in the meetings he'll learn things. He'll learn more about coverages, more about why we attack things a certain way.
"It will give him, if he does this right and uses his time correctly, which he has done so far, it will make him a better football player."