By Scott Petrak, Chronicle-Telegram:
Trent Richardson is chiseled. His entire 5-foot-9¼, 228-pound frame has been hardened and sculpted by endless hours in the weight room, where he squatted 650 pounds and bench pressed 475. But the Alabama running back has a soft side and isn’t afraid to show it. He recently escorted a girl recovering from cancer to the high school prom because she didn’t have a date. He went all out with white tuxedo and pink vest and tie to match her dress. “Trent is as fine a person as I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach,” Alabama’s Nick Saban told The Chronicle-Telegram by phone. “Great family. Totally unselfish about how he goes about what he does. Really hard worker, but people around him matter to him. He tries to affect everyone around him in a positive way.
“This guy is truly a good person. He just is. That’s what he is.” Heckert said Thursday he wouldn’t hesitate to take a running back at No. 4, but the notion isn’t as simple as it was 50 years ago, 20 years ago and even seven years ago — three running backs were selected in the top five. The NFL has evolved into a pass-first league thanks to a series of rule changes designed to make life easier for the quarterback and receivers. The workhorse running back still has an impact, but his value isn’t as obvious. Many teams use a rotation of backs, and some have had success with late-round picks and undrafted free agents. In last year’s draft, Mark Ingram, Richardson’s predecessor in Tuscaloosa, was the only back taken in the first round, going 28th to New Orleans. [More]