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Arizona football: David Richards still learning to be unselfish; going about his business quietly

David Richards is quiet off the field, but is starting to make more noise on the field

Christian Petersen

Even in a loss to USC, the Arizona Wildcats put up some truly amazing stats in the passing game.

One of those stats was that four different guys had seven catches each. Now, you would expect to see Cayleb Jones and Austin Hill as two of those guys. DaVonte' Neal had what could be a breakout game in what he says was his first game at full-health this year.

The fourth guy though? David Richards.

Richards, a redshirt junior, has sort of been replaced as the guy with size by Cayleb Jones, but that hasn't brought him down at all.

"When I get out there, I just try to make a play," Richards said on Monday. "I'm just doing my job. That's the most important part and I was able to stay out there and play and I was able to do what I needed to do."

As one of the players who was around when this receiving corps was basically Austin Hill and everybody else, Richards has had to learn to be unselfish, something that all the receivers have talked about this year.

"It's been a little different, but it's been a growing experience," Richards explained. "You gotta learn that everybody has a role in the offense and just doing what you need to do when your name's called."

"It's more of a group effort more than just one person doing it like in years past," he continued. "Now there's eight guys who can go out there and catch balls."

Richards is still one of only two receivers that doesn't have a touchdown catch this year, which isn't lost on Anu Solomon.

"He brings a lot, he's just such a big target," said Solomon. "He can do anything. Everyone has a touchdown but him and Trey (Griffey), so I told him 'I have to get you one'."

"That guy just gets open," Solomon added about Richards. "I can just throw it up there and he can go get it."

When I talked to WR coach Tony Dews a couple weeks ago, this is what he had to say about David Richards.

"He's a guy that's in the rotation just like everybody else," coach Dews explained. "Again, he's another bigger guy with great ball skills that can certainly stretch the field. He can also be a physical blocker when we're running the ball. I see him just like Austin, Trey and Cayleb. The four of those guys out there together do a great job. It's nice: You can put him in for redzone, you can put him in against a corner that's smaller than him. Those four guys do a great job for us."

Richards had his own thoughts on Arizona's size at receiver making the passing game a legitimate threat this year.

"I think it helps us out a lot as far as jump balls and stuff," he said. "Having the size advantage over the smaller corners, you're never going to face a whole DB section that's as big as us so I think it definitely gives us an advantage."

It's been a little different, but it's been a growing experience -David Richards

The age and experience of Richards is helping out some of the newer guys that are around, including Cayleb Jones and DaVonte' Neal, who are still in their first year with the program.

While Richards may not be putting himself out there verbally, he's taken over a leadership role with some of the non-verbal stuff he's doing.

"David brings a lot to the table," Neal said. "He's a quiet guy, but when it comes to on the field and doing what Coach Dews asks, he does what Coach Dews asks. He does what he needs to do, and we see that, and we see that from a visual standpoint and not so much of a vocal standpoint."

"He shows leadership with his actions," center Steven Gurrola added. "What he does on the field sets an example for everybody and everybody sees it."

So while he may not be as outspoken as DaVonte', or as explosive as Cayleb, look for David Richards to make his mark on the field the rest of the year, and hopefully get himself into the endzone one of these days.