Richardson To Be On Heisman Stage

Alabama football players are supposed to be having a little time off these days (with the exception of a little conditioning and a lot of studying as final examinations near). But Crimson Tide tailback Trent Richardson had a busy day Monday accepting congratulations.

Alabama junior Trent Richardson is one of five finalists for the 2011 Heisman Trophy, the Heisman Memorial Trust announced Monday. It was also announced that Richardson was selected as the Associated Press SEC Offensive Player of the Year and eight Crimson Tide players were selected to the All-SEC team.

Richardson and his teammates are working out and will resume practice in about two weeks. Bama will meet LSU on Jan. 9 in the Superdome in New Orleans in the BCS National Championship Game.

"It is a dream to be selected as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy," Richardson said on Monday afternoon. "There are very few people that can say they were a candidate for the Heisman Trophy and even less that can say they were a finalist. This is a tremendous honor, but one that wouldn't be possible without my teammates, especially my offensive line. As far as I'm concerned this is a team award."

Richardson, a native of Pensacola, Fla., is joined by Wisconsin's Montee Ball, Baylor's Robert Griffin, Stanford's Andrew Luck, and LSU's Tyrann Mathieu.

The winner will be announced on Saturday at the Best Buy Theater in New York City's Times Square on ESPN. Richardson is the Tide's second Heisman finalist in the last three years. In 2009 the Heisman Trophy went to Bama's Mark Ingram.

Richardson has had no fewer than two so-called "Heisman moments" this year, an exceptional touchdown run against Ole Miss, and a game-clinching 57-yard tackle-busting run against Auburn that gave him a 203-yard rushing performance against the Tigers.

In 12 games this season, Richardson has 263 rushing attempts for 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns. He leads the SEC and ranks fifth nationally with 131.9 rushing yards per game. He also averages 6.0 yards per carry and ranks second in school and SEC history with 23 total touchdowns.

He has added 27 catches for 327 yards and three touchdowns and has accounted for 1,976 all-purpose yards this season, an average of 164.7 yards per game. Richardson has faced seven of the nation's top-50 defenses, five of the top-50 rush defenses and five top-20 total defenses.

He has averaged 142.0 rushing yards per game and 198.4 all-purpose yards per game against five top-25 opponents with six total touchdowns while averaging 105 rush yards per game and 142 all-purpose yards per game against five top-20 total defenses. Leads the SEC with 136.4 rush yards per game while accounting for 178.4 all-purpose yards per game in SEC play with 12 total touchdowns. Richardson has lost only one fumble in 614 career touches and has not lost a fumble since the sixth game of his freshman season, a span of 550 touches.

The Tide had five players earn first-team All-SEC honors from the AP, including two unanimous choices – left tackle Barrett Jones and Richardson. Center William Vlachos was also named to the first team along with safety Mark Barron and linebacker Courtney Upshaw.

Linebacker Dont'a Hightower, nose guard Josh Chapman, and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick were selected to the second team.

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