Fantasy or nightmare challenge? Pick 2 non-Heisman Alabama RBs
A-Day and spring practice are behind us, but there are still plenty of questions to answer about Alabama football. The players are away from the team to focus on finishing classes, recovering and personal development before summer workouts begin. Here we’ll take a look at a question each day. Check out our archives here.
If you could choose two non-Heisman Trophy winning RBs from Alabama to start in your backfield, who would you pick?
Since we are living in the Nick Saban era of college football, I’m going to answer this question based solely on the running backs who have come through Tuscaloosa under Saban.
I can’t have Mark Ingram or Derrick Henry, but there are still plenty of great options.
First, I’d take Trent Richardson. For my money, Richardson’s 2011 season was one of the best individual performances I had ever seen until Amari Cooper in 2014 and Henry in 2015.
Richardson carried that 2011 offense as a young AJ McCarron needed time to grow as a first-year starter.
If not for an incredible season from Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, Richardson would have won the Heisman.
He rushed for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns, both of which were school records until Henry rewrote everything in 2015.
People may look at his failed NFL career to judge him, but from a college standpoint, Richardson was one of the better running backs in recent years.
With Richardson as my feature back, I’d take T.J. Yeldon as my second guy. Yeldon may be one of the more under-appreciated players from the Saban era.
During his freshman year when he was healthy, Yeldon’s jump cuts were a thing of beauty. He had one of the more productive careers at Alabama, but gets overlooked at times.
He was the perfect change of pace back to Eddie Lacy in 2012. Injuries caught up with Yeldon in 2013 and 2014, but he still posted big numbers.
Yeldon’s 5-yard gain on third-and-5 late in the 2012 SEC Championship Game against Georgia is one of the more important plays in the Alabama dynasty. It led directly to McCarron finding Cooper for a touchdown.
Richardson and Yeldon never got to play together, but that would have been a magical backfield if they did.
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