After playing three years for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide football team, Trent Richardson decided to fore-go his final year of eligibility at the college level and declared for the 2012 NFL draft. After the two quarterbacks (Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck) were picked off the board by the Colts and Redskins respectively, the third overall pick, which was held by the Cleveland Browns, was used to select Richardson. Richardson was widely regarded as the best running back available in the 2012 Draft and former Colts vice chairman Bill Polian called him one of the “three sure-thing players” in the draft.
After gaining 4,500+ net yards in his three years at Alabama, Richardson has been called one of the best pro prospect running backs since Adrian Peterson, which is quite the compliment. Although he has received great acknowledgements, Trent has also been subject to criticisms, specifically from former a former Browns great, legendary running back Jim Brown. Brown went on to say that TRich is only “ordinary” and is a “one-dimensional” player.
Instead of firing back comments against Jim Brown, Trent took the high road and is using Jim’s words as motivation. And he fully believes that he is more than a one-dimensional player. Trent even went on to say that he “wants to be the best thing that ever happened to Cleveland”. Now this is where I want to pause. Trent does know who LeBron James is right? NBA’s Chosen One; the all-star athlete who, as most would agree, single-handedly took the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, although he did not eventually bring home the crown at that time. The same athlete who won two MVP’s while he was on contract with Cleveland. To understand how truly great LeBron was in Cleveland, look what happened to the Cavs in the year after his flight to South Beach. Trent truly believes that he can be Cleveland’s next chosen one and went on to say, “I want to be that type of all-time guy when it comes down to it.”
A quick glance at Cleveland’s roster is enough to show you that they’re going to go into the season with a lineup that at least on paper appears to be pretty weak overall. One could even make the argument that Trent Richardson is already their best offensive player, despite not having played a single down professionally. But if Richardson believes he can be the next big thing in Cleveland, then its time for him to prove it. For Cleveland to succeed, TRich is going to have to be more than a one-dimensional back. He needs to show that he can not only run, but can also contribute catching the football and providing blocking protection. If he can be that all around player, after it’s all said and done, maybe, just maybe, he will walk on water in Cleveland as King James once did.
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