Jackson State’s Rico Richardson makes a one-handed grab as he eludes Concordia College’s Blake Kostich during their game in 2011. Richardson, a Natchez High School alumnus, had numerous receptions this fall en route to tallying more than 1,000 yards receiving for the Tigers. (Photo courtesy of Charles A. Smith)

Richardson adds to accolades

Published 12:01am Saturday, December 1, 2012

JACKSON — Rico Richardson had an explosive year at wide receiver for the Jackson State University football team, and he is starting to collect the hardware as proof.

Richardson joined some of Mississippi’s finest athletes at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum as a finalist for the Conerly Trophy, which is given to the state’s best collegiate football player each season.

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace took home the award, but Richardson will definitely not finish his season empty handed.

Richardson was also tagged the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s best offensive player by College Sports Madness, an award he said he cherishes more than the Conerly Trophy.

“That’s a better accomplishment I think,” he said. “I know it’s not the SEC, but we have a lot of players that I feel are just as good. It’s great, and I can’t explain (how good it feels).”

It was nice to share the spotlight with players like Wallace, Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks and Southern Miss’ Jamie Collins, Richardson said.

“It was a great feeling being honored as one of the best, because there are some good athletes in this state,” Richardson said. “To get up there with those guys was great. You get to see them play on TV, and you know these guys are great. It just shows what you can accomplish when you work hard.”

Richardson finished the regular season with 1,081 yards receiving on 56 catches. He had 10 receiving touchdowns and averaged more than 19 yards per catch.

The senior will have one more chance to cap off his career, however, when the Tigers face off against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the SWAC Championship Dec. 8.

“We’re very excited,” Richardson said. “The intensity has been up at practice and guys are focused. We wish it was (today).

“It’s been a great (year), and I did everything I wanted to accomplish. I’m just glad to be with the guys for one more game and want to win a SWAC Championship.”

The championship game will kickoff at noon Dec. 8 in Birmingham, Ala.