Richardson Earns SEC Frosh Honor

Everyone says the performance of tailback Trent Richardson is not a surprise, but that doesn't mean it wasn't impressive. Richardson gave a little hint of his potential in mop-up work against Virginia Tech, but it was still a bit of a surprise that he was the running star of Bama's win over Florida International.

Trent Richardson rushed for 118 yards on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns in Alabama's 40-14 win over Florida International in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night. For his performance he was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week.

Richardson scored on runs of nine and 35 yards in the second half as Bama extended its lead from 20-14 to 33-14. He also caught two passes for 23 yards.

Richardson got his opportunity despite being Alabama's No. 3 or No. 4 tailback on the depth chart. Mark Ingram, who started the Virginia Tech game, had been out part of the previous week with flu. Roy Upchurch, who started against Florida International, went out with a sprained ankle, opening the door for Richardson.

A week earlier Richardson had given a glimpse of what to expect. With Virginia Tech's defense knowing Richardson was in the game to run the clock, the freshman hit the middle of the line three times for what should have been a total of about three yards. On each carry, Richardson pushed the pile and had 10 total yards. That yardage total wasn't important. How he got it was impressive.

Even that wasn't the entire reason for high expectations for Richardson. The 5-11, 220-pound back from Escambia High School in Pensacola came to Alabama with glowing credentials. He was a first team All-America, ranked by as the nation's No. 2 running back and 13th best prospect regardless of position in the nation. He was the top prospect in Florida.

As a prep senior, Richardson rushed 225 times for 2,090 yards (9.3 yards per carry) and 26 touchdowns as a senior. He set a single game rushing record with 419 yards.

Another Alabama player, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, was cited in the "among others" by the SEC. Hightower, a 6-4, 255-pound sophomore, had six tackles (three solo) with two and a half tackles for losses and a sack and two quarterback hurries.

The SEC also announced Tim Tebow, Florida quarterback, as offensive player of the week; Rahim Alem, LSU end, defensive player of the week; Brandon Boykin, Georgia return man, special teams player of the week; Clint Boling, tackle, offensive lineman of the week; and Antonio Coleman, Auburn end, defensive lineman of the week.

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