Throwback Thursday: Trent Richardson’s road to the NFL

Ross Jones, FOXSports.com

Trent Richardson arrived at Escambia (Pensacola, Fla.) High School as a physically gifted running back who needed a bit of seasoning.

“He showed up as a man-child. He was very muscled up physically and was well-developed for a kid that was 14 years old,” Escambia football coach Derrick Boyd told Laces Out.

“He was bigger than any of the running backs that we had on campus that were 11th and 12th graders.”

Although Richardson already had the look of a professional running back, he sometimes lacked the commitment to get there.

“He was very rebellious when it came to following instructions as far as the way I wanted the workouts done,” Boyd said. “Coming from little league, he had been that guy who was a stud, spoiled I guess.

“Everything went his way and I was curious to see if he had the work ethic to go along with that size and talent. From Day 1 we recognized that not only was he the best player on the field, he was the hardest working guy.”

After Richardson’s sophomore season, something clicked and he displayed a serious commitment to football. It wasn’t just a game that he played after school anymore. It was a means to an end.

Richardson became a father that year and dedicated himself to what would eventually become his career. He put in the time, staying late after practice fine-tuning his craft and it would equate to production on the field. The production would lead to a flood of scholarship offers.

“It went from being a kid who was pretty much anonymous in the recruiting trails, to getting offered by pretty much everybody,” Boyd said. “In the 11th grade year, you name it: We had Trickett and Jimbo Fisher from Florida State coming through, from LSU you had Larry Porter and even the head coach Les Miles came in. Urban Meyer was here from Florida along with Kenny Carter. Tennessee was coming through when Lane Kiffin got the job. You name it. Everybody came.”

During his senior season, Richardson ran for 2,090 yards and 26 touchdowns. His best game would come in Week 2 against Milton (FL), when he ran for 419 yards and 6 touchdowns. Richardson chose to play at the University of Alabama and thrived during his time in Tuscaloosa.

After three years of playing high-level football, Richardson decided to forgo his senior season and declared himself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Cleveland Browns selected the running back No. 3 overall and he didn’t disappoint in his first season. Richardson did sustain a rib injury that lingered all season long, but since then has returned to 100 percent and his looking forward to playing for the new coaching staff in Cleveland.