A Better Tap For Trent Richardson

A week or so ago, upcoming Alabama junior tailback Trent Richardson was in the news because his car had been tapped by the car of another drive, who then left the scene for a hit-and-run.

Meanwhile, college football has taken notice of Trent Richardson's ability to hit and run – such as the famed run by the Alabama tailback in his 2009 freshman year when he burst through tackles by most of the Arkansas defense on a spectacular 52-yard touchdown run.

For that reason, Richardson, a 5-11, 224-pound upcoming junior from Pensacola, is listed on the watch list for the 2011 Maxwell Award. There are 66 players on the initial watch list for the award given to the nation's most outstanding player.

Richardson's reputation in his first two seasons was not built as a starter. He has been the running mate with one of the nation's best, Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner and an NFL first round draft choice following the 2010 season.

Richardson has career statistics of 257 carries for 1,451 yards, an average of 5.6 yards per carry with 14 rushing touchdowns. He has also pulled in 39 passes for 392 yards and four touchdowns. Richardson has returned 26 kickoffs for a 26.2 yards per return average with one touchdown, but is not expected to handle kickoff return duties this year.

If Richardson can win the Maxwell he will do something that Ingram – nor any other Bama player – has ever done. Although Ingram won the Heisman in 2009 (the more recognized award for the nation's best player), the Maxwell Award went to Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.

The Maxwell Award was first given out in 1937. It is selected by members of the board, selected media, sports information directors, and other special voters.

Maxwell award semifinalists will be announced Oct. 31, and the three finalists for the award will be unveiled Nov. 21. The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 8. The formal presentation of the award will be made on March 2, 2012 at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City.

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