Trent Richardson has become a punchline in the sports world. A symbol of failure. The classic example of wasted talented as one of the biggest busts in sports history.
As NFL fans we gave up on him a long time ago, almost as soon as the Browns traded him to the Indianapolis Colts in the middle of the 2013 season.
We laugh at him every time he puts on the pads for training camp and cheer for him to fail so we can laugh some more.
To his credit, Richardson hasn’t let any of this bother him. That’s why even after failing to earn a spot with the Oakland Raiders last year, he has fought to get his mind back in focus and his body in football shape, as he attempts to become a starter for the Baltimore Ravens.
“I know myself that I’m not done in the NFL, don’t want to be done. I got a taste of what that felt like.” Richardson said.
So what keeps driving him to keep pushing forward when all the odds are stacked against him?
“To tell my kids that their father didn’t have a job, it was big for me. I’m here. I’m going to be here for a while.”
There is no doubt T-Rich has talent. At 5’9″, 229 lbs, with a 4.4 time in the forty yard dash, Richardson is a bruising back, who can punish opposing defenses every time he has the ball. He is also very versatile as he can catch the ball out of the backfield.
The only thing he is missing on his way to becoming a legendary running back in this league is dedication and focus.
“As a person at that time, mentally [I] wasn’t stable enough to play football, for any level,” Richardson said. “My mindset wasn’t right for it. I had too much going on outside of football. The football was always there, but everything that carried on outside the field, it carried onto the field. I couldn’t think about football all the time. Football became little to me at the time.”
What we as fans tend to forget is that he has already proven himself a winner as the driving force behind not just one, but two BCS Championship teams.
So while the rest of us sit around waiting for another chance to laugh, Richardson is putting himself in a position to succeed by working for a spot on a team in desperate need of direction and a star at the running back position.
And by his own words, when asked what he plans to be doing when his career finally ends, he confidently proclaims.
“Putting on a yellow jacket.”