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Richard Rounds into Form

Aug. 11, 2006

PLEASE NOTE: Saturday’s practice at 3:30 p.m. will be at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Fans should enter at Gate 4 on Bobby Dodd Way and sit in the lower West Stands.

ATLANTA–As Georgia Tech continues its preseason preparations, the Tech coaches are very happy to have defensive tackle Darryl Richard back on the field after his 2005 knee injury.

The talented sophomore from Destrehan, La., missed last season after he was injured in spring practice, but he is healthy now and poised to be a key contributor for the Tech defense. He showed his promise with four sacks as a true freshman in 2004 before sustaining the injury the following April. His return enabled the Jackets to move Mansfield Wrotto, a three-year starter at defensive tackle, to the offensive line.

This spring, Richard was able to work through practice but says any tentativeness he might have had in the spring is long gone.

“At first, I still felt a little worried about some of the cuts that I was making, but as the spring went on and I got hit a few times in the legs, I started to feel comfortable,” said Richard, who stands 604 and 285 pounds. “That was like the last part of re-hab – the psychological portion of it.

“This fall, it’s just play football.”

If there is a silver lining to Richard’s injury, he says that the year off enabled him to improve his knowledge and his strength.

“As soon as I got hurt, Coach [Eric] Ciano and I sat down and talked about how we had to use this year to our benefit, so we focused that in the weight room. In sports you have to have explosion, so we focused a lot on power cleans and Olympic lifts and I’ve improved the explosion in my hips.

“That redshirt year helped me out a lot, in terms of learning things and getting stronger. When you know exactly what you’re doing out there, you can play a lot faster.”

Richard has also worked hard in the classroom, and earlier this week he was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll.

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