Posted by: marcmwm | December 30, 2008

Richardson targets spring

TAMPA — Dace Richardson might be a lot closer to the playing field than you think.

The 6-foot-6, 310-pound offensive lineman has played in just one game the last two seasons because of knee issues. Last winter, Richardson went through a total knee reconstruction and alignment. Last fall, he had another surgery to clean out some cartilage.

Tuesday, Richardson gave an update.

“The coaches said I’m looking the best I’ve ever looked,” he said. “I guess that’s a positive, when they say I look faster than I used to.”

Richardson has been passing blocking and doing speed drills with strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, who’s been one-on-one with Richardson during much of the bowl trip.

 “I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better,” said Richardson, whose knee problems allowed him to start just eight of 13 games in 2006.

The details of Richardson’s surgery might give some insight into the length of the rehab. It’s complicated, but here’s how he tells it:

“They took my bone and cut it and shifted it over to relieve stress on it,” he said. “All the pounding I was doing  was tearing away at my cartilage. It was starting to give me some deep bone bruising and that was preventing me from playing well.”

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has updated Richardson’s progress a few times during the last two seasons. None were ever as positive as the one he gave this week.

“Three months ago, I think we were all pessimistic, all but maybe (Richardson),” Ferentz said. “It’s a slow climb, but he’s climbing and the last month has been good. . . . The big thing right now is just getting him out there where he can play. That’s the big thing. I think it’s possible.”

Richardson hopes to return to full contact this spring and, from there, he hopes to compete for a spot on the offensive line next fall. He expects it to be a gradual process, with his workload and contact moving along in stages.

“Right now, I’m pretty much for sure going to be doing spring ball,” he said. “Now, it’s just how well do I play, how well do I practice? Right now, that’s the goal in front of me.”

Richardson, a U.S. Army all-American out of Warrenville (Ill.) South High School, had some doubts last summer, taking some time away from football after the second surgery in July. He went into the surgery thinking it was over, but came out with OK with some floating cartilage being removed.

 “That put my spirits up a little bit,” he said. “From that moment on, I’ve worked hard and have done whatever they’ve told me to do. I’ve come a long ways since August.

“I don’t want to jinx myself right now, but things are looking good.”

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Responses

  1. Good luck Dace. Him coming back could be huge next season.

  2. That is great news. I never thought he’d even get this close. Good for him. He would be a great assett to that line next year.

  3. I saw Dace at the Beach Bash and Busch Gardens. You could not tell he had such knee problems. I remember hearing before the last surgery he was hobbling around. Everyone on the Beach was yelling encouragement to Dace and he really enjoyed it. I think he knows all of Hawkeye Country hasn’t forgotten him or wrote him off!!!

  4. He looks great, too. He said he’s faster. I think that’s got to be a positive.

    Cali, I’m sorry for getting to your comments late. I was in DBQ all day visiting family.

  5. […] Oh yeah, I almost forgot about Dace Richardson. I still can’t fathom a full return, but if it’d happen, what a story and, oh, the possibilities. […]

  6. […] Another guy who might have a say is Dace Richardson, who’s been out two seasons with knee problems. He gave a very positive update from Tampa. I posted that here, https://marcmwm.wordpress.com/2008/12/30/richardson-targets-spring/. […]

  7. […] Oh yeah, I almost forgot about Dace Richardson. I still can’t fathom a full return, but if it’d happen, what a story and, oh, the possibilities. […]

  8. […] old is new on the O-line. Dace Richardson, who’s missed the last two seasons with knee problems, is getting a good look at left guard. […]

  9. […] old is new on the O-line. Dace Richardson, who’s missed the last two seasons with knee problems, is getting a good look at left guard. […]

  10. […] there’s senior Dace Richardson (6-6, 305), who’s trying to make it back from knee realignment surgery. He played eight of 13 […]

  11. […] there’s senior Dace Richardson (6-6, 305), who’s trying to make it back from knee realignment surgery. He played eight of 13 […]

  12. […] Another guy who might have a say is Dace Richardson, who’s been out two seasons with knee problems. He gave a very positive update from Tampa. I posted that here, https://marcmwm.wordpress.com/2008/12/30/richardson-targets-spring/. […]


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