By Danny Cox
Name: Daryl Richardson – RB – #26
Weight: 196 lbs.
Hometown: Vernon, TX
College: Abilene Christian
Experience: 2 years
For the past nine seasons, the St. Louis Rams have been led out of the backfield by Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson. Eight of those nine seasons, he gave the Rams 1,000-plus yards and helped their rushing offense run like a well-oiled machine. He has been a huge cog in the Rams’ organization, and was expected to keep leading them into the next season and the next.
In an unexpected turn of events, Jackson bolted out of St. Louis and headed to the Atlanta Falcons to be their featured running back. That in turn, leaves a huge hole in the offense of the Rams.
The Rams have seven running backs on their roster to give it their all and try to replace Jackson. Three of those running backs are rookies while the other four have a grand total of 529 yards on 108 career carries. That’s not the most comforting sign, especially considering Daryl Richardson accounted for 475 of those yards on 98 carries.
There is not a running back on the St. Louis Rams’ roster that has ever even stepped into an end zone and scored an NFL touchdown. Still, Richardson appears to be the new front man in blue and gold.
Richardson was born in Vernon, Texas, and attended a small community college back in 2008. He started his collegiate football career there and had 95 attempts for 526 yards with seven touchdowns.
In 2009, Richardson transferred to Abilene Christian where he jumped right up into the starting spot while playing in all thirteen games that season. He led the Wildcats with 961 yards and also caught 209 yards on 23 receptions. Richardson showed his ability to find the end zone too as he had 16 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.
The Texas running back saw his stats fall in 2010 as he played in 11 games and had only 517 yards rushing and 199 yards receiving. Richardson still was able to find the end zone often as he scored eight touchdowns en route to earning an honorable mention for the All-Lone Star Conference team.
Richardson was not looked highly upon as the 2012 NFL Draft approached, but he was still taken by the Rams in the seventh round with the 252nd overall pick. He was close to being Mr. Irrelevant, and very well may have been in the NFL with having to play behind Steven Jackson.
With Jackson gone now, Richardson is going to have to improve on his 98 carries for 475 yards from his rookie season, and show that he belongs as a starter in this league. He’s being thrust into the starting position for the Rams; that is, unless Isaiah Pead takes it from him in training camp.
It is going to be a battle of the backs in Rams’ camp this year, but Richardson has the edge. He has speed and awareness. To become the primary back for any NFL team, you’ve got to take the opportunities as they come to you, and Steven Jackson just offered up Daryl Richardson the opportunity of a lifetime.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.