Position: Running Back
Running back Trent Richardson was born on July 20, 1990 in Pensacola, Florida. His brother Terrell plays defensive end at Louisiana-Lafayette. He also is the father of two young girls.
Richardson attended Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida, the same high school attended by Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith
. After missing his sophomore season due to injury, he ran for 1,390 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games as a junior, earning FSWA All-State 5A second team honors.
During his senior season, he posted huge numbers with 2,090 yards on 228 carries with 25 touchdowns. The highlight of his senior season and his high school career came in a game against Milton High School in September 2008, in which he rushed for 419 yards on 29 carries and scored six touchdowns.
Heavily recruited by football schools like LSU, Florida, and Florida State, Richardson decided to take his skills to Alabama following his high school career. He stepped into the rotation at running back immediately as a true freshman, rushing for 751 yards and eight touchdowns on 145 carries. He also played a big role in the 2010 BCS National Championship game by running for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Playing backup to Mark Ingram as a sophomore, Richardson compiled 700 yards on 112 carries with six touchdowns. He also posted 266 yards receiving and four touchdowns.
Richardson jumped into the lead role at tailback his junior year at Alabama with Ingram departing for the NFL. For the season he racked up 1,679 rushing yards, breaking the record Ingram had set before leaving the Crimson Tide. He also had 338 receiving yards and posted 24 total touchdowns.
In the 2012 BCS National Championship game, he ran for 96 yards and a touchdown, helping secure Alabama's second national championship in three years.
Richardson's tremendous strength and great size are his most obvious strengths, and he also possesses deceptive quickness for a guy his size. At 5-11 and 225 pounds, he has ideal size for a running back. He is a powerful between-the-tackles runner who, despite his thick frame, has the speed to get around the corner outside the tackles. He also has the power to run over would-be tacklers, and enough elusiveness to make defenders miss. His low center of gravity and thick, powerful lower body allow him to routinely break arm tackles. And his low pad level at contact allows him to run over smaller defenders.
Also blessed with good hands, Richardson is very effective as a receiver out of the backfield and is very difficult to bring down when he gets the ball in open space. Because of his size, blocking ability, and receiving skills, he has the potential to be an every-down workhorse at the NFL level.
Richardson is also a patient runner, doing a good job of waiting on his blocks to develop before exploding into the running lanes as they present themselves. He also appears to have great vision to find those lanes and to break through them into the defensive secondary.
He also possesses a tireless work ethic, with his sessions in the weight room becoming almost legendary. Because of his work off the field, he has developed tremendous upper and lower-body strength.
The most commonly pointed to fault in Richardson's skill set is that he doesn't possess elite speed. He does, however, have enough burst to pick up big chunks of yardage when he finds a hole.
All in all, Richardson is the most attractive running back prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft pool, and will probably be the first at his position to be selected. Most likely he will be selected in the top half of the first round and could potentially be a top-5 prospect.