MOORHEAD — The Minnesota State Moorhead football team is likely to be without one of its top big-play threats next season.
Dragons junior wide receiver Jake Richter is out for spring practice and is also expected to miss next fall after suffering an Achilles injury during offseason workouts, MSUM head coach Steve Laqua confirmed Sunday.
“It’s really tough,” said the 6-foot-4, 214-pound Richter. “I don’t like sitting very much. I’m a really competitive guy. I’ve just got to deal with it now.”
Richter injured his left Achilles in February during a workout in Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. He previously missed most of the 2017 season with a left leg injury and took a medical redshirt.
Last fall, Richter had a breakout season with 68 catches for 1,113 yards and 10 touchdowns. He helped the Dragons finished with an 8-4 record and a spot in the Mineral Water Bowl.
“Some younger guys are going to have to step up,” said Laqua as MSUM started its spring practices Sunday. “It’s going to be an opportunity for someone else.”
Sophomore Ryan Harvey-Turner (6-foot-3), redshirt freshman Brett Skarda (6-foot-5) and sophomore Matt Haire (6-foot-2) are three young receivers who are expected to compete for more playing time with Richter sidelined. All three are bigger targets, like Richter.
“Those are the three guys who have the best chance,” Laqua said. “The small blessing is that we at least have time to prepare and make changes.”
The Dragons also return slot receivers junior Grady Bresnahan (5-foot-9) and sophomore Trent Marquart (5-foot-8). Bresnahan had 80 receptions, the most on the team, for 879 yards and four touchdowns last season. Marquart added 17 catches for 177 yards. Marquart was fourth on the team in receptions last season.
“The injury to Jake creates a big void for us to fill both on and off the field,” Laqua said. “There will be a lot of people that will have to pitch in and pull extra weight to make up for the loss.”
Richter said he had surgery on his Achilles in mid-February.
“I’m just kind of taking it day-by-day,” said Richter, who is from Detroit Lakes, Minn. “I’m going to push it and try to get back as soon as I can. That is kind of who I am. But at the same time, it’s a serious injury. I don’t want to try to come back too fast.”