Fallon QB signs intent to play for College of Idaho
After breaking records and helping his football team to a state championship, Fallon’s Connor Richardson is taking his talents to Coyote Country.
The dual-threat Greenwave gunslinger signed his letter of intent this month to play at the College of Idaho, an NAIA school in Caldwell that competes in the Frontier Conference.
“As far as goals, it was always my goal to play football at the collegiate level. I worked hard for that,” said Richardson, who will be playing 20 minutes away from Boise and a modest, 5-hour trip from Fallon. “I made the best of the opportunity I had and to make it a career.”
As important to continuing his football career, Richardson wanted to find a school that would satisfy his hunger for academics, mainly biology and chemistry.
“My occupation goal is to be a physician assistant,” said Richardson, an Honors School student who’s active with the National Honor Society. “With the College of Idaho, they have a great physician assistance program.”
The recruiting process was thorough for the Richardson family as he had multiple offers from various levels of the NAIA and NCAA. Ultimately, it was Caldwell that felt like a second home.
“The recruiting process was grueling at times,” said James Richardson, Connor’s father who coached him during youth sports, including baseball and football. “So many colleges showing different interests in Connor was both exciting but frustrating as well. Coaches wanted to wait before making specific scholarship offers. In the end, it came down to academics, location and opportunity to play.”
Richardson turned to quarterbacking the Greenwave during his junior season, backing up Joe Pyle. His calling came last season as he guided Fallon to an unblemished league record capped off with the state championship over Moapa Valley. Richardson was named the Division I-A Player of the Year after throwing for 3,322 yards and 41 touchdowns, and was also named Maxpreps.com’s No. 1 quarterback in the state.
His success in the playoffs helped raise his stock with the college programs.
“Being a little off the radar – he didn’t play until his junior year – he was a little unknown,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “They didn’t see many film of him playing quarterback. He had a good regular season and had a great playoffs. He’ll get a chance to play early at a very good up and coming school.”
Richardson will be arriving on campus trying to resurrect its football team after the program was reinstated three years ago. The Coyotes, or Yotes, finished 4-7 in 2015, playing against five nationally ranked teams, including Eastern Oregon, Southern Oregon, Montana Tech, Southern Oregon and Carroll. COI defeated two ranked teams, including the season finale at home against Carroll in November.
Coach Mike Moroski is excited to have Richardson on the team and is looking forward to the star quarterback contributing to the program.
“Connor is an incredible athlete and player,” Moroski said. “He is a better person from a great family. We are thrilled to have him in the program. He makes the Yotes better right now.”
Richardson is thrilled about the opportunity and feels COI is on the verge of breaking through the Frontier Conference, especially after notching a pair of wins over ranked opponents last year.
“They are a great, great up and coming program,” Richardson said. “We’re going to be really successful in the football. They just started the football program back up a couple years ago. It’s a great town sport. It’s going to be a really great program. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Richardson will have his work cut out when he joins the team this summer.
Although the Coyotes lose senior quarterback Teejay Gordon, three freshmen redshirted last year while one freshman backed up Gordon. Along with Richardson, COI signed a transfer quarterback, giving the team six quarterbacks on the roster.
Richardson, though, is ready to embrace the challenge.
“The quarterback position is sort of up in the air,” he said. “It’s going to be an open competition to see who gets the job.”
The Richardson family has all the confidence that the newest edition to the Yotes will carry his championship success from the Sierra Youth Football League and high school to the collegiate level.
“The coaches are really high on Connor and they see him doing very well in the program,” James Richardson said. “They were very impressed with his highlight film. Connor also showed his abilities in person as he threw approximately 50 passes to their starting receivers during his official visit.”
Time will tell for Richardson as he embarks on another chapter to his already successful journey. Don’t count out a conference or national championship for the Yotes after Richardson led the Greenwave to their first state title in almost 40 years.
“The fact he was such a hard worker and he really dedicated himself this summer to craft himself as a quarterback…a lot of it is on him and how hard his family worked,” Hill said.