Mark Ingram was the first player from the University of Alabama to ever win the Heisman Trophy, and within two seasons experts are already saying that the school may have a chance to have their second Heisman winner. Trent Richardson comes into the season as the guy for the first time in his career despite the fact that even last year people were predicting that he may end up being better than his predecessor before he is done.
Richardson is a freak of a human being, a punishing 224 pound straight-line runner who can punish defenders but still has good speed and the ability to move well in space. The junior from Pensacola has been compared to Emmitt Smith, who went to the same high school as Richardson, an incredible compliment for a player who has been a backup for his entire career so far.
During his sophomore season, Richardson rushed for 700 yards on 112 carries, and in the two games that Mark Ingram missed with a knee injury, Richardson filled in admirably. Against San Jose State, in limited action before the game turned into a blowout, Richardson carried the ball 10 times for 66 yards and had 3 catches for 46 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Against Penn State he rushed 22 times for 141 yards and caught 4 passes for 46 yards. Richardson also added impressive games against Arkansas, Tennessee and Ole Miss to name a few.
This year, however, Richardson is the guy, and nobody in the country is expecting anything less than a great year from him. Most pundits will agree that he is on the short list for the Heisman trophy, and with the Tide expected to be playing for the SEC Championship in December, many believe that he may end up being the front runner by the end of the season, similar to how Mark Ingram captured the trophy in 2009.
The Tide will go only as far as Richardson can take them on offense, and odds are that will be pretty far.