Richardson heading to Lehigh for football
Cam Richardson knows football. He also knows about the tradition of Lehigh University football and the famed rivalry with Lafayette. Richardson's success both on the football field and in the classroom have allowed him to now become part of that tradition.
After shattering most of the receiving records at Northwestern and helping drive his team to the District 11 Championship this past season, Richardson had plenty of opportunities ahead of him for college, but liked what he saw at Lehigh both athletically and academically.
"Lehigh is a great school with great academics and they have a really strong football tradition there and for me to join that and be a part of one of the biggest rivalries in college football is going to be a lot of fun and I'm really excited for it," said Richardson after signing his letter of intent Wednesday in the high school auditorium.
Richardson is following in the footsteps of his head coach, Josh Snyder, who also made the trip from Northwestern to Lehigh as a player.
It was Snyder who put Richardson into the lineup as an inexperienced sophomore and helped him develop into the player who played a key role for the team both offensively and defensively.
"That's one of the top notch educations in the country that you can go to and, obviously, that's the main thing for a kid like Cam," said Snyder. "His approach has always been just academics first, which is what we try to do in our program across the board, and that combined with his football skills put him in the position to draw the attention of a program like Lehigh that's a perennial national playoff team."
Richardson will major in biology at Lehigh and, at least initially, will be used as a slot receiver on the Mountain Hawks football team. Richardson's ability to play multiple positions might come in handy again down the road, since Lehigh coach Andy Coen has told him he may be used at other spots if a need arises.
Lehigh isn't completely unfamiliar territory for Richardson, who has spent some time there in speed camps. What he got to see of the school's athletic and academic facilities during his official visit there convinced him that he and the school were a good match. In fact, it was just one day after his visit to Lehigh that he called Snyder to give him the good news.
As Snyder found out when he went to Lehigh, life will be different for Richardson. While Lehigh isn't as far away from New Tripoli as the other schools that were pursuing him, there is are a lot of differences between home and school.
"My buffer zone was sort of about three or four hours and there were some schools out there that I was looking at, but it's definitely nice to be close to home," said Richardson. "It is a little further and it's in the city more instead of out in the country, so it's going to be a nice change and I'm excited."
Richardson, a three-sport athlete, will always have fond memories of his high school football career.
"The Saucon Valley game really sticks in my mind because Harry [Hall] and I had a huge game, the homecoming stands were packed and it was one of the biggest games of the year," said Richardson. "To be able to come out and win by a pretty good margin was something big for us and I think the whole team and the entire coaching staff enjoyed that game."
Snyder will miss Richardson on the field and on a personal level. The two have gone through a lot, including lean times during Richardson's sophomore season.
"I tried to tell his parents that they did a tremendous job of raising him and I like to think that somewhere along the line, us, as football coaches, had something to do with molding him into who he is today," said Snyder with a big smile. "Just the little chats that we've had on and off the field, we've become pretty close. I went to Lehigh, so I'm pretty pumped that he's carrying on the tradition. We've had a couple of boys that moved on from Northwestern and went to Lehigh, but we haven't had one in a couple of years, so I'm pretty excited to have him going there for me, personally."