There is no quarterback competition at Iowa State where sophomore Sam Richardson is the starter heading into the season. Richardson became the starter late in the 2012 season and says the experience he gained is a plus.

“I think I’ve grown quite a bit,” Richardson says, “definitely the guys that we have at the skill positions right now are the younger guys that I have been with for the couple of years that I have been here.” He says they’ve built a relationship and are growing together.

Richardson may be the starter but he still feels like he needs to prove himself in practice. “I feel like there’s always competition…and you can’t slip up at any point,” Richardson says.

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads says Richardson is a much different quarterback this season. “When he got his reps a year ago as a third-stringer who was truly competing for the starting job in August as well as September and October — let’s just say he was uptight. He was never relaxed and poised and usually those are descriptors that go along with being confident and comfortable,” Rhoads says.

Rhoads says the experience from last year has made a difference as Richardson has a full grasp and confidence with the offense and throws the ball with confidence.

Iowa State opens on August 31st against UNI.