TUSCALOOSA | Louisiana natives on the University of Alabama roster such as Kenny Bell, Eddie Lacy and Cody Mandell might have a bit more of a personal stake in the Crimson Tide's game against LSU next weekend, but one doesn't have to come from the Bayou state for the most anticipated game of the season in the Southeastern Conference to mean a little something extra.
Trent Richardson is from Pensacola, Fla. But having several strong relationships with LSU players, and having been recruited heavily by the Tigers out of high school, he also considers the Nov. 5 game a special one.
"I've got a lot of friends at LSU who play on the team," Richardson said. "We've called each other and said, you know, 'Hey, be ready.' And that's what it is. Friends before the game, but when we're in the game there ain't no friends out there. It's every man for himself."
Richardson said he knows LSU running back Michael Ford, receivers Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard and defensive end Sam Montgomery, among others.
Richardson also has an older brother, Terrell, who played football at Louisiana-Lafayette, near Baton Rouge. In fact, proximity to his brother was one reason LSU was high on his list of college options when he was among the nation's top recruits in the class of 2009. Lafayette, Richardson said, was on LSU's schedule in 2009, and the prospect of playing a game against his brother was a unique attraction.
"My mother would have been able to see us both," Richardson said. "But I think I chose the right place."
Richardson's choice has led him to a national championship in 2009 and a career record of 32-3 since he arrived at Alabama. Approaching 1,000 rushing yards for the season, the junior said he continues to feel strong late into the season. With an idle date this weekend, Richardson will travel home to Pensacola, like many UA players.
"My body is probably in the best condition it has been in since I've been in college, and now I get a break and my body is going to feel even better when I come back," Richardson said.
"Last Saturday was probably the loudest I've ever heard it since being here. Even when our offense was out there on the field, we were trying to make adjustments on the sideline and I couldn't hear what coach (Kirby) Smart was saying. I was just looking at the whiteboard and reading what he was trying to say." - UA linebacker Dont'a Hightower on the Bryant-Denny Stadium noise during UA's win over Tennessee.
Did you know?
The last LSU running back to rush for over 100 yards against Alabama was Kevin Faulk, who ran for 201 in Baton Rouge against UA in 1998, only to lose to the Crimson Tide 22-16.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com or at 205-722-0196.