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Sophomore Jared Richardson (left) extends to catch the ball while being pursued by sophomore David Okechukwu during a drill in practice on Sept. 5. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

So far, sophomore wide receiver Jared Richardson has been having a breakout season. Despite not seeing much game action last year, he has quickly established himself as a favorite target for the Penn offense. The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with Richardson to ask him 15 questions about his journey to Penn, his season so far, and predictions for the rest of the season. 

1. Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Jared Richardson. I’m a sophomore studying health and societies, concentrating in health care markets and finance, and I play wide receiver. I am a determined, hard-working, and persistent student-athlete with a high motor.

2. What motivated you to start playing football?

Football is in my DNA. My father and my brother both played ball so I took after them. They both have made a monumental impact on my development as a football player.

3. What has been your most favorite memory playing football?

My favorite memory to date has to be beating Princeton in a thriller last season. 

4. What made you transition from being the starting quarterback in high school to a wide receiver at Penn?

I knew coming to Penn I would be converted to [wide receiver], and being a decent athlete I had no problem with that. Also, an Ivy League education is something that I’ve dreamed of, so attending Penn was my best option.

5. In your career so far, what is the most painful moment you recall?

My most painful moment playing football was tearing my labrum junior year of high school and having to miss half of the season.

6. During the game against Colgate, you had a breakout performance. Can you share what was on your mind as you prepared to run a drag route that ultimately resulted in a touchdown?

I knew that it was man to man coverage and I just thought if I out leveraged the guy defending me, it’s a touchdown. Once I cut to the corner of the end zone, I saw the ball in the air and reeled it in. It was a surreal moment for me.

7. While Colgate was a breakout game, this week against Bucknell, you absolutely carved the team's defense. Can you describe the chemistry and communication between you and your teammates that contributed to such a dominant performance?

I believe everything starts with the coaches and trickles down to the players. Schematically, [offensive coordinator Dan] Swanstrom is putting us in the best positions possible to make plays and we have great athletes all over the field. Right now, everything seems to be clicking for us. 

8. What is your favorite route to run?

I love to run fade routes because many times it’s a 1-on-1 opportunity with a cornerback. 

9. If you had the opportunity to play with any QB, either active or retired, who would you choose and why?

I would love to play with Patrick Mahomes because of how crafty he is and his ability to extend broken plays. 

10. Are there any football players who you looked up to and tried to emulate your game after theirs?

While I was a quarterback, I tried to emulate Lamar Jackson’s style of play. Now, since I am playing receiver, I try to emulate Justin Jefferson and Stefon Diggs because of how smooth their route running is. 

11. Are there any particular goals or milestones you're aiming for in your career?

Ultimately, it would be an honor to receive first team All-Ivy honors for my remaining three years at Penn, and I would love to break some of Justin Watson’s records.

12. How do you handle pressure and expectations, especially during moments when the going gets tough?

I just put my head down, tough it out, and I don’t let the outside noise affect me or the way I perform.

13. During the offseason/summer, which part of your game did you work on the most?

This offseason, I took priority in becoming a more polished route runner. 

14. If you could give one piece of advice to young players aspiring to make it in football, what would it be?

I would tell young players aspiring to make it in football to just give it your all, be thankful you are in this position to play this sport, and give credit to those around you when it’s due. 

15. How are you feeling about the Dartmouth matchup next week, and any score predictions?

I’m feeling great about this matchup, last year this game went to the wire, and this is our first Ivy League matchup so there will be hype surrounding this game.

Score: 27-17, Quakers Win!