Trent Richardson is the best running back in college football. People who know more than I do about the game say that's true. (Even if this was only my opinion, I could say it here because this is my blog and soapbox/ego trip.)
There's a lot of talk about Richardson's triple digits yards rushing, the touchdowns he scores, and how he can move an entire pile of opposing defensive linemen before being brought down. Those things are enough to make him special in the world of football, but nobody talks much about his character.
In a world where spoiled rotten brats who believe their own press often reign supreme, it is heartening to see a man of such moral fiber succeed. Though he came from less than ideal circumstances and fathered two children while still in high school, he has committed himself to building a bright future for his children. He has a 3.26 GPA in business and his work ethic is legend among his teammates. They say he works every day like he is trying to earn a spot on the team. What's more, last summer when it became clear to that his younger brother needed guidance, Richardson brought the high school student to live with him. By all accounts the young man is doing well.
While these things are more valuable than any action on any football field, I saw his character in action on the sidelines near the end of the Alabama-Mississippi State game.
Richardson's backup, Eddie Lacy, who has had his share of the spotlight, ran for a 32 yard touchdown—his second of the day. Afterward, Richardson ran to him and wiped his face with a towel, smiling with unmistakable joy.
I don't believe he was thinking of Heisman trophies, or the statistics that Lacy had just piled up that might have been his own. I think he was celebrating the accomplishment of a fellow teammate. And that makes all the difference in a good player and a great one.
How do you define character?