Take a read over my Sunday story about Trent Richardson’s strange ability to carry entire defenses on his back all the way to the Heisman Trophy ceremony next week.
TUSCALOOSA — When analysts clamor for so-called Heisman moments, the spectacular comes to mind.
Trent Richardson’s ankle-breaking fake out at Ole Miss could top his list. Then there’s the 57-yard Iron Bowl curtain call, punctuated by a quick slap away stiff arm.
But those two highlights don’t embody the sometimes-brutal power Richardson has trademarked in his three Alabama seasons.
No, his Heisman Trophy moments don’t make SportsCenter. They aren’t flashy or glamorous, but can leave even the skeptics slack-jawed.
There isn’t even a cute name for the weekly pile-on-Richardson-while-he-runs-for-a-first-down move. Abstract in their beauty, those forgotten runs defined the season that made Richardson perhaps the lead horse in the tight Heisman race.
Several straw polls of voters have the Alabama junior running back leading the hunt, as final ballots are due Monday.
Richardson could join former teammate Mark Ingram in the exclusive club when the winner is announced Saturday night in New York.
Now a rookie with the New Orleans Saints, Ingram bruised his way to the stiff-arm pose in 2009.
But his former apprentice took the craft to another level this fall.
Of Richardson’s 1,583 rushing yards, 49.7 percent came after defenders made contact. On occasion, those yards come with six, seven, eight or more opponents piling on for the ride.
Richardson can only laugh when asked about those moments.
“I’m dodging and I’m trying to take these folks on and try to carry them on my back and trying to push them away from me at the same time,” he said. “When I get that feeling that I’m just going to drag everybody, it just gets me excited and has me ready to go for the next play.”
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