Richardson is enrolled in at Arizona State six years after a shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down. His initial scholarship in 2006 was honored in 2012 by head coach Todd Graham.
He was nominated for the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award in October 2012 and continues to play a large role in the team’s success.
After a spectacular junior-college career at Santa Rosa Junior College, Richardson signed a letter of intent to play for the Sun Devils in 2006. His arrival was highly anticipated. "He was one of those players who immediately jumped out at you," former Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter told the Oakland Tribune. "He could run by everybody. He had size, speed, toughness and elusiveness."
But a few weeks later, early on March 4, 2006, Richardson was shot twice - once in the chest, and then in the back. His spinal cord was not penetrated, but it was damaged by what doctors called shock-wave destruction. Richardson was with friends in San Francisco and was not involved in the dispute that prompted the shooting.
"You can't live in the what-if phase," Richardson told the Arizona Republic. "What if is not actually reality. This is who I am now, and I have to go forward and progress." The Sun Devils honored Richardson's scholarship, even though he was signed two coaching staffs ago. He is majoring in justice. He is a regular at practices and games, watching from his wheelchair. Richardson trained for the Tempe heat, doing workouts of as long as three miles in the wheelchair.
"I can't commend this university enough, because in actuality they don't have to do what they're doing for me," Richardson told the Arizona Republic. "I never played one snap here. They stood by their word 100 percent. This new staff treats me as family. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms."
Richardson, now 27, retains hope of walking again one day. He says he draws inspiration from his daughter, Angelia, who was born a few months after he was paralyzed.
"He's a great example of incredible spirit and attitude," Arizona State coach Todd Graham told the Oakland Tribune. "... (He's) an example of how you respond to adversity. He's a big part of what we're doing."
Santa Rosa Junior College:Caught 93 passes for over 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns at Santa Rosa Junior College in 2005 ... unanimous all-conference selection at two positions in 2005 ... named the NorCal Conference All-Purpose Player of the Year in 2005 ... selected a junior college All-American by JC Gridwire ... listed at No. 22 on the Rivals.com Top 100 junior college players and was the No. 4 wide receiver ... listed as the No. 48 junior college player in the nation by SuperPrep ... first-team All-Norcal Conference by JCFootball.com ... named All-State in California junior colleges by the NJCAA ... named all-state and all-region at wideout and all-purpose ... named pre- and postseason all-state by JuCal ... named first-team all-league at wide receiver and as an all-purpose player ... was Santa Rosa's Offensive Most Valuable Player ... led the state of California and the nation in receptions (93), yards (1,334) and touchdowns (18) in 2005 ... named California state Player of the Week three times in 2005 ... 326 receiving yards versus Foothill JC was the third-highest yardage in a single-game in junior college history ... played with current ASU quarterback Sam Keller at San Ramon Valley High School in Northern California ... named first-team all-league at wide receiver and as a return specialist in high school ... named first-team all-Bay Area at wide receiver and at utility player ... named the Bay Area Athlete of the Year ... "There were a number of schools trying to get involved late, but ASU was there from the beginning and had shown me the most love throughout the year," said Richardson. "It really just came down to ASU and USC, but I think ASU was the best fit for me." ... coached by Keith Simons at Santa Rosa JC ... "said Simon, "In five of our games we were so far ahead that he was on the bench. His numbers could be even better if he played all four quarters in those games. He plays with no fear and will expose his body if he needs to. He's very tough physically and mentally."