Rising junior Sam Richardson met with reporters after Iowa State's first spring practice Monday. Richardson began last season as the starting quarterback, going 1-7 in eight starts. The 6-foot-2 Richardson, who added around 20 pounds in the offseason and looks significantly bigger, is taking ISU's No. 2 QB snaps.
For disclosure's sake, there's an asterisk with the three questions I asked.
Q Initial impressions of Coach Mangino?
SR: "He's a good guy, he's fun to be around and he'll joke around with ya, but at the same time he's business. He definitely knows what he's doing. He's been around it a long time. You can tell that. I've already become a smarter player from him being here."
Q What's it like to be 100 percent healthy?
SR: "It's nice. Just dealing with a few bumps and bruises but other than that it's definitely nice being back to healthy."
Q *Seems like you've bulked up some. What was your offseason routine?
SR: "Definitely eating a lot, a lot more than I'm used to, and I've put on weight. Got up to about 225 and now trying to slim down to what I feel comfortable running and still being able to run like I can on the field. I feel good right around 222, 220, so hopefully I'll stay there this spring and maybe put on a little more after."
Q *And you've seen that affect your arm strength?
SR: "No doubt. It's definitely helped that a lot. That was something I was really wanting to work on this offseason. Arm strength, that's something Coach Messingham always harped at me and that's something I'll continue to try and improve."
Q Is there more of an importance to spring practice this year? New offense, new coordinator, new coaches.
SR: "Yeah, there's no doubt. Just getting a feel for the offense and getting a feel for what we're gonna do and what our tendencies are gonna be. Every practice is important and I wouldn't say it's more valuable than past practices but at the same time you're just focusing on the offense in general."
Q Weird for you to go from last season when you were the guy to now being in a competition?
SR: "Yeah, honesty I'm approaching it the same way: Make the most out of every rep. Obviously Grant's gonna compete with me, him Joel and Trevor. I'm gonna compete with those guys and we'll make each other better. At the end of the day we'll have the best guy out there on the field."
Q What's the key to the healthy weight?
SR: "Listening to (strength director) Yancy (McKnight), honestly, and knowing what you've got to do … leaner foods. I focused on it a lot this offseason."
Q Do you have a calorie target?
SR: "No, just eat when I'm hungry and eat a lot."
Q Lots of foods you like?
SR: "I'm a very picky eater honestly and I just eat when I can."
Q How much of this offense is similar to what you ran last year?
SR: "We just hit the base of it now, honestly, we haven't touched on all of it. I'm just trying to get a grasp of the main gist right now. I think it might go back to the Tom Herman-style offense with a little more split back. We're running a normal spread, a little pass, a little run."
Q *It's a new offense for all of you but does being a redshirt junior and having the experience, does that kind of give you a leg up?
SR: "You [might] adapt to it easier. Some of those younger guys might not understand the learning curve of it. At the same time, you're just trying to learn the same offense they are."
Q What's it been like actually throwing passes to D'Vario (Montgomery)?
SR: "It's nice, it's awesome to have him out there. He's getting over a few injuries but he's definitely a threat we need to have out there. I love throwing passes to him … he's a close friend to me."