Mike Richardson was rated a two-star wide receiver by Rivals.com in the 2002 recruiting class, and he received literally no national attention before signing with the Irish.
Richardson sat patiently in the wings during his freshman season while not playing a down.
In his sophomore season, Richardson saw minutes on special teams and sporadically as a defensive back.
His playing time increased in his junior year. Richardson started in five games as a cornerback.
In his senior season, Richardson finally achieved the status of full-time starter playing in all 12 games including the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. He finished the season with three interceptions, 66 total tackles and a team-high 10 passes deflected.
Richardson came back in 2006 for a fifth year. He helped the Irish to a 10-3 record and a Sugar Bowl appearance. He had a team-high four interceptions, five passes deflected and 55 total tackles.
Richardson heard his fair share of criticism while playing cornerback for Notre Dame, but like Santucci, his play caught the attention of scouts.
After his fifth season with the Fighting Irish, Richardson entered the 2007 NFL Draft and was selected in the sixth round by the New England Patriots.