TUSCALOOSA — When Trent Richardson was a football star in high school, he returned kickoffs.
Check that: He lined up in position to return kickoffs. And he hoped.
“I love kickoff returns,” Alabama’s standout sophomore running back said. “I didn’t really get to return none in high school, because they all kicked away from me. But when I did, I always ran them back.”
Always? At the very least, often.
In the second game of his sophomore season in 2006 at Escambia High School in Pensacola, Fla., Richardson returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown against Washington High School. Late in his junior season, Richardson returned a kickoff 100 yards in a loss to Pine Forest.
In the third game of his senior season, Richardson returned a kickoff 90 yards for a fourthquarter touchdown that helped make the difference in a fivepoint victory. Pace High had just taken a 16-14 lead.
“You can’t just put the ball in Trent’s hands in any way,” Jimmy Nicholls, Escambia’s head coach at the time, told the Pensacola News-Journal after the game. “I’m telling you, because more times than not, you’ll pay for it.”
It appears Richardson will get a chance to return kickoffs this season for Alabama.