Running back Demario Richard is rejuvenated, looks like ASU football's spring star

After his worst season as a Sun Devil, the senior halfback is ready for his final hoorah

With ASU’s football practices coming to an end April 15, senior running back Demario Richard looks ready to rebound from his worst season yet.

The Palmdale, California native is coming off a 2016-17 season where he recorded his lowest touchdown total (3) and worst average yards per carry (3.8) in his ASU career.

His poor season was attributed to injuries in his core and a lower leg that consistently affected him. Richard played in 11 of the Sun Devils’ 12 games last season.

Fast forward three and a half months to spring practice and Richard embodied the same athleticism he had during the 2015 season, where he ran for over 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns. That season he was also able to catch the ball 32 times for 309 yards and three touchdowns.

He’s been able to get healthy and focus on his final season as a Sun Devil.

“It’s almost over,” Richard said. “I’m just blessed to be out here.”

Richard has placed a strong focus on this upcoming year and has been working daily to grasp former Alabama wide receivers coach and first year ASU offensive coordinator Billy Napier’s offense.

“We got a lot of install, we are putting in about three installs a week,” Richard said. “That’s a new install every day.”

Fellow senior running back Jacom Brimhall has also been striving to understand the new offense, and has also noticed what separates Richard from other halfbacks.

“His physicality and his presence is something that you can feel,” Brimhall said. “It’s something different. He comes off as a tough guy, and that’s because he genuinely is a tough guy.”

Richard is listed at 5’10” 219 lbs, but he plays bigger than his size.

“I see him running over guys, and I don’t think it gets me thinking I’m going to run over guys, it gets me thinking I need to be physical,” Brimhall said.

Physicality makes or breaks running backs, and in Richard’s case it makes his game elite. He doesn’t have the quickness of redshirt freshman Tre Turner (4.38 40-yard dash), but his tough running in between the tackles makes up for it.

Head coach Todd Graham said Richard will be a big part of the Sun Devils’ running attack this season, therefore he wants to keep Richard lean and healthy.

Graham said he understands just how much this season means to Richard.

“He’s a senior. It’s his last year, it means something to him,” Graham said.

With the trials Richard faced last season, whether injury or the team’s six game losing streak to close out the season, he needs to have his best year yet.

Richard's running and cutting in practice shows he looks healthy and ready for the upcoming season and his determination has been evident on and off the field.

“You can tell he’s a guy that’s improved this spring,” Graham said.

A rejuvenated, focused, healthy and determined Richard is the Sun Devil who the rest of the Pac-12 should lookout for. 


Reach the reporter at atotri@asu.edu or follow @Anthony_Totri on Twitter.

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