Finch, Amidon, And Richardson Highlight Football's Spring Game
Published: Monday, April 2, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
In the annual Jay McGillis Memorial Spring Football Game on Saturday, several players stood out for their performances. Rolandan Finch, Alex Amidon—keys to last year’s offense—and redshirt freshman Ameer Richardson all stood out in the contest.
With several running backs vying for carries this season, Finch is not guaranteed the job. If his performance on Saturday is any indicator of his workload this season, however, he is the primary back. He finished the day with 27 carries for 196 yards. He also did a good job of receiving out of the backfield, with four receptions for 38 yards. The only real struggle for the junior came on a fumbled pitch, but that’s something he is already working on this offseason.
“I thought I started off slow, dropping the toss for the fumble,” he said. “After that, I tried to pick it up, and I thought I had a decent scrimmage after that.”
One of the major changes for this year’s team is the addition of Jim Bollman as the offensive line coach and running game coordinator. While it’s been an adjustment, Finch says the team will have time to work with Bollman and learn his system.
“It just takes a little getting used to. Everything’s starting to pick up,” he said. “Fifteen practices is not a lot, only two weeks, but as long as we can keep building on everything through the summer and keep getting everything down pat, we’ll be alright.”
Amidon, who finished last season with 20 receptions for 220 yards and one touchdown, reeled in a 31-yard touchdown from quarterback Chase Rettig. On the day, Amidon only had one other catch for 10 yards, but his role in the offense is cemented based on his performance in the last two seasons. He is confident that the team will make strides over the offseason, despite some of the kinks seen on Saturday.
“The offense started a little bit slow,” he said. “Obviously, we saw that, but we started to pick it up a little bit. We’ve got a long way to go until Miami, and also we have some injuries. If we get everyone back and put in the work, I think it will be a good year for the receivers and the offense.”
With fellow receivers Bobby Swigert and Colin Larmond Jr. sidelined with injuries, Amidon benefited from more attention as a seasoned veteran. These repetitions have given Amidon a chance to work on his speed, which he cited as his area of focus this spring.
“One thing you learn is to play fast,” he said. “You have to play fast at this level, because speed is really an issue. That’s what I’ve been stressing.”
After taking a redshirt season, Richardson came into camp prepared to make an impact on the field. It seems that his preparations have paid off. In the game, Richardson had two interceptions to go with six tackles, including one for a loss. He picked off both Rettig and Josh Bordner.
“It felt great, especially since I redshirted last year,” Richardson said. “I felt like I really haven’t played football. I did everything that I had to do to help the team, and then coming out in the spring, I did well. I made it to the twos, and was able to get on the field for the spring game. It was just a lot of fun.”
Richardson said that being unable to play in real games for a season was a struggle, but this weekend brought him right back into it.
“It was a lot more emotional coming out of the tunnel and being in the locker room with the guys,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s all football. [Defensive backs coach Mike Siravo] gave us the tools and told us to use them on the field, and we just used them during the game and did that really well.”