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Alabama in the Pros

Baltimore Ravens sign former Cleveland, Indianapolis RB Trent Richardson

Kirby Lee- USA TODAY Sports

The deal is done. A former Alabama standout has yet another NFL opportunity.

Head coach John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens signed former Alabama running back Trent Richardson today, per ESPN writer Jamison Hensley and NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.

Richardson, who was the third overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, had to meet the requirements of a physical prior to being signed. Rigorous physical and mental training has not only helped him drop weight, but it has also restored his confidence. Baltimore was able to reach an agreement with him, before starting its offseason workout program.

Productivity in offseason workouts and training camp are two things that separate Richardson from earning a role.

The Ravens have a stable of tailbacks, headlined by Justin Forsett. He recorded 641 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 151 carries last season.

Richardson was a fan favorite at Alabama from 2009-11.

He totaled 3,130 career rushing yards, 730 receiving yards and 42 total touchdowns on 608 touches. His 1,679 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns in 2011 set the school’s single-season record, until Derrick Henry surpassed him in 2015 (2,219 yards, 28 touchdowns, 395 tries).

Richardson earned a variety of individual awards in 2011, including Doak Walker and SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year.

He was a unanimous All-American and finished third in the 2011 Heisman voting. Richardson played a vital role in two national championships (2009, 2011).

The professional game didn’t serve much kindness for him at Cleveland, Indianapolis and Oakland but under Harbaugh and ex-Tide player Ozzie Newsome (general manager), Richardson gets a fresh start and a shot to truly revive his career.

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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