The final play of Colorado football practice Friday evening was an incomplete pass deep down the sideline. But the intended target of the pass is what makes it noteworthy. Freshman wide receiver Paul Richardson donned a No. 80 jersey and participated in his first practice after receiving final approval from the school to join the program and enroll in classes earlier in the day.

Richardson, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound former four-star recruit, initially signed a national letter of intent earlier this year with UCLA. However, his scholarship there was revoked last month after he and two of his former teammates were arrested for allegedly stealing a purse.


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The players were initially charged with felony theft, but those charges were later reduced. Richardson said he comes from a very religious family and his faith guided him through the past month. He said he is thankful to have a second chance.

"We stayed in prayer and stayed positive about it and God blessed me with another opportunity," he said. "And I'm going to make the most of it. It was a humbling experience and I'm just moving forward."

Richardson said Colorado was one of the schools he considered during the recruiting process before ultimately choosing UCLA, where his father was a standout wide receiver in the 1980s. He played his junior season of high school football with CU tight end Clark Evans, with whom he remained in contact over the past year.

After his arrest and dismissal from UCLA, CU seemed like the right place to start over.

"I definitely learned my lesson," Richardson said. "Me coming here to Colorado University is definitely and step forward. I plan on starting fresh out here, putting that to the side and working on my college career."

CU athletic director Mike Bohn said in a press release from the school that Richardson underwent a rigorous review process academically and personally before being allowed to join the program. Bohn also spoke with UCLA officials about Richardson and his brief time there.

The press release said coach Dan Hawkins has advised Richardson "on the value of this opportunity, and that the expectations for him are to be consistent with the values of the team, the athletic department and the university."

That was much more than Hawkins chose to say when asked after practice why he decided to bring Richardson into the program.

"Receivers," Hawkins said.

When asked if he is about second chances for guys like Richardson, Hawkins said, "Once is a mistake, twice is behavior."

Richardson caught 31 passes for 552 yards as a senior in high school last year. He worked at wide receiver and kickoff return during his first day as a Buff.

Patterson remains out

Wide receiver Travon Patterson remained out of practice Friday as CU worked with the Pac-10 Conference and Southern Cal to resolve issues related to Patterson transferring to CU.

Pac-10 rules require transfers within the conference to sit out one year. CU joined the Pac-10 in June, though it won't begin play in the league until 2011 at the earliest.

Notable

Defensive lineman said he would have X-rays on his right leg after practice Friday to determine what was causing him pain and keeping off the field. ... Freshman walk-on Justin Gorman is listed as a quarterback but is practicing at a variety of positions. "He's going to do everything for us," offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau said. "Receiver, quarterback, DB, he might kick. He's a great kid." ... The Buffs conduct their annual media day today at the Dal Ward Center following the 8:30-10:30 a.m. practice.