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Five former Alabama running backs scheduled to sign autographs for A-Day

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Fun, fun and more fun will be on the menu Saturday for Alabama’s spring game.

To couple with a fan fest that includes a quarterback challenge and a alumni flag football game, five former Crimson Tide running backs are scheduled to sign autographs in Tuscaloosa.

Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake all will take part in A-Day festivities at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Drake will take pictures and sign autographs prior to the game at Gate 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. He will later bring joy to more fans at Publix on the strip from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Ingram, Richardson, Lacy and Henry will meet at University Mall at 5 p.m. for pictures and autographs.

The University of Alabama will be presented with its copy of Henry’s 2015 Heisman Trophy from the Heisman Trust, while Ingram presents him with his Heisman ring.

Nov 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Giants 52-49. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Former Alabama RB Mark Ingram: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Ingram, who played at Alabama from 2008-10, was the school’s first Heisman winner in 2009.

He guided the Tide to a Southeastern Conference championship and a BCS national title in the 2009 season, accounting for 1,658 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 271 carries.

Ingram pounded Texas’ defense in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, collecting 116 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. He was awarded the game’s most valuable player, after Alabama secured a 37-21 victory over the Longhorns at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

He earned player of the year honors from Sporting News and was named a unanimous All-American. Ingram finished his career with 3,261 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns on 572 carries. He was taken in the first round (28th pick) of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. The 26-year-old has totaled 3,195 yards and 26 touchdowns in five seasons.


Former Alabama RB Trent Richardson: Cedric Mason- TDAL Magazine

Richardson, a native of Pensacola, Fla., was a five-star back when he came to Alabama in 2009.

He was good as a backup to Ingram, but became even better as the featured guy. Richardson powered the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 2011, amassing 1,679 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns on 283 attempts. His yards and touchdowns both stood as single-season school records, until Henry surpassed him in 2015 (2,219 yards, 28 touchdowns).

Richardson was a huge component in two national championships, with his finest moment coming against LSU in the 2012 title game. He rushed for 96 yards on 20 carries, including a 34-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to secure a 21-0 win. Richardson earned the Doak Walker Award, a unanimous All-American selection and SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2011.

He finished third in the 2011 Heisman voting, while leaving Alabama with 3,130 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns on 540 carries. The National Football League has not been the smoothest transition for the former third overall pick, but he intends to right the ship in Baltimore.

Eddie Lacy

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy: Jeff Hanisch- USA TODAY Sports

Lacy was a high-prized recruit upon enrolling at Alabama in 2009.

He redshirted his freshman season, but earned an opportunity as the third back behind Ingram and Richardson in 2010.

His patented spin move “circle button” became a fan favorite in 2011, when he and Richardson shared the backfield .

The two guided the team to a national title, as Lacy chimed in with 674 yards and 11 touchdowns on 95 tries.

As a redshirt junior, Lacy became an animal in 2012.

His spin move was deadly and he began developing strong hands as a receiver. The Louisiana native had 1,322 rushing yards, 189 receiving yards and 19 total scores on 226 touches.

Lacy was exceptional in big matchups, earning most valuable player honors in the 2012 SEC Championship Game (181 yards, two scores) and 2013 BCS title game (140 yards, two scores).

The three-time national champion ended his career with 2,402 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns on 355 carries. Green Bay took Lacy in the second round (61st pick) of the 2013 NFL Draft.

His rookie season was special as Lacy made the Pro Bowl and earned second-team All-Pro honors. His 1,178 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns won him offensive rookie of the year, according to Pro Football Writers Association and Associated Press. Lacy would achieve a second 1,000-yard campaign in the following year, before injuries and weight issues limited him in 2015. He has been working with a P90X trainer and should be ready to rumble in the fall.

As for Henry and Drake, both were at Alabama around the same time.

Henry and Saban_1

Former Alabama RB Derrick Henry: D.A. Graham- TDAL Magazine

Henry, 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, possessed the power, while Drake had acceleration and big play capabilities. The former came to Tuscaloosa as a myth in 2013, yet leaves a legend.

His 2,219 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns set a school season record, while his yardage allowed him to become the first back in SEC history to total 2,000 yards in a season.


Former Alabama RB Kenyan Drake: Cedric Mason- TDAL Magazine

The latter had to check his attitude at the door in the early of his career, but once Drake bought in he became special.

Despite encountering difficult injuries, the Georgia native accounted for one of the most memorable plays in Crimson Tide folklore. His 95-yard kickoff return touchdown against Clemson helped secure a 45-40 victory, giving Saban his fifth national title overall. Drake leaves Tuscaloosa with 1,189 all-purpose yards and 23 total touchdowns.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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