Blog Entry

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

Posted on: January 12, 2012 3:46 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 3:49 pm
 
All-Americans running back Trent Richardson and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick announced they will be forgoing their final year of eligibility at Alabama and entering the 2012 NFL Draft. Both were part of a pair of national championship teams in three years in Tuscaloosa.
  
Tidesports.com reported that linebacker junior Dont'a Hightower will also leave the Crimson Tide.
  
The 5-foot-11, 224-pound Richardson was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back in 2011 after setting a single-season school record with 1,679 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. He broke the record set by 2010 first-round pick Mark Ingram, and is the top-rated running back prospect by NFLDraftScout.com and the No. 7 overall prospect.
  
Richardson is a powerful inside runner who presses the line of scrimmage and has surprising speed for his relatively short, thick frame. A tough runner who will initiate contact, Richardson is widely expected to be the first running back selected in April. NFLDraftScout.com analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler both currently have Richardson going fifth overall to Tampa Bay.
  
"I am going to leave here and try to represent Alabama in a Class A way," Richardson said.
  
Kirkpatrick is the No. 2-rated cornerback by NFLDraftScout.com, behind only LSU's Morris Claiborne, who also announced Thursday that he's leaving after his junior season. Kirkpatrick is the No. 10 overall prospect, with Rang having him going seventh to Jacksonville and Brugler predicting him to go No. 6 overall to Washington.
  
"It was a blessing to have an opportunity for (Alabama) to open their doors the way they did to me and my family," Kirkpatrick said. "This is a family decision, and I am going to be leaving, going to the NFL, to try to better myself and better my talent."
  
Kirkpatrick had 30 tackles and nine pass breakups in 2011 possesses. He has excellent height and athleticism at 6-2, 192 to be a potential shutdown corner in the NFL. He has the long arms to be effective as a press corner and good recovery speed. He's not as experienced in zone coverage, but has shown the instincts to read the quarterback and break on the ball. Kirkpatrick is also noted for his physicality and willingness as a blocker in the ground game.
  
"We are 100 percent supportive of both of these young men in terms of what their choice is and what they choose to do," coach Nick Saban said of Richardson and Kirkpatrick. "They've been great ambassadors, great representatives for the University of Alabama as people, students and football players."
  
Hightower, who was not at the press conference, is also a potential first-round pick. He is the No. 2 inside linebacker according to NFLDraftScout.com, behind only Boston College's Luke Kuechly. A redshirt junior, he spent four years at Alabama and is the No. 26 rated prospect overall. He had 85 tackles, including 11 for loss, four sacks and an interception this season.
Comments

Since: Oct 24, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 8:50 pm
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

As a Big 10 fan, I hadn't seen much of these two teams this year.  The player that stood out for me during the BCS Championship was Kirkpatrick.  With his size, I bet he becomes a force in the NFL.  I won't be surprised to see him in many Pro-bowls down the road.



Since: Aug 14, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 7:34 pm
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

I feel Richardson is going to have a better career in the NFL than Ingram. He's going to be a real good one. Hightower is a guy who would look good taking over for Farrior in Pittsburgh.



Since: Nov 21, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:07 am
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

Roll Tide !!! Whoever gets Richardson is going to get an exceptional athlete with a 1st class work ethic and an absolute stellar individual with solid core values and conviction...certainly a bright future ahead for this young man! Every BAMA player coming out this year has the character makeup to accomplish whatever they set their mind to...good luck fellas! Roll Tide !!!



Since: Apr 25, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:31 am
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

Fine representative...... One of these students has two children of his own, he is a full time student and yet he can still drive around in a $45,000 automobile and we have become so numb as a society to look at this guy as a role model???? Time to come down to earth.

Last time I checked it was not an NCAA violation to have children, Maybe Auburn and Cecil Newton can work on getting another rule on that one adopted by the NCAA.

You know for a fact that he is driving in a 45K dollar vehicle? or have you seen pictures of him in a vehicle that is 4-5 years old that does not belong to him, but his brother, and you like to jump to the first moronic conclusion that comes into your feeble little mind. I imagine you being the guy who sits there reading every auburn publication with baby lotion on one hand and dreaming of the glory days of Cam and the only title you will win this century. Stop hating so much and realize that just because you can read it on the internet or hear it as a rumor does not mean its true. If so then you must truely be a moron, based on your comments. Next time think before you speak as its better to have everyone think your a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt,



Since: Oct 4, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 9:20 am
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

Wow to anyone who criticizes Richardson or any of the others hsould look in the mirror.  Everyone makes mistakes, but in his case if it was a mistake he took it on as a man.  He is devoted to his girlfriend and his children.  He has expressed that he will finish his education so where is the problem.

Kirkpatrick and Hightower are huge talents and a huge loss for Alabama.  I wish them well in the future.  I can only hope one of them ends up with the Packers.  Not likely, but I can always hope.



Since: Mar 8, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 3:50 am
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

Richardson was 17 when he got his girlfriend pregnant a mistake ANY man posting on here could have made but he stuck with her and has a 2nd child with her as well and is only 20 credits from a degree and NFL money, sorry you haters but thats a man!! You idiots who just heard he knocked a girl up might want to do a little research first, so you don't look so ignorant!!!



Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:55 pm
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

 he is a full time student and yet he can still drive around in a $45,000 automobile
Ah, so just because he is a black athlete you don't think there is any chance his family can afford to funish him a vehicle, as literally hundreds of thousands of families do for their kids in college?

How's the weather over there in miserable bigot land? If it isn't unseasonable hot now, just wait a few years. Your permanent retirement is likely to be quite warm. LOL   

  



Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:42 pm
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

Not surprised that jtaisthorpe is an Auburn fan. So I guess you think Cam Newton is a role model? Arrested for committing three felonies, three times he broke the Honor Code at Florida for cheating, only spent one quarter at Auburn, and of course his Father tried to pimp him out. But Auburn has a huge pic of him in Jordan Hare and will soon have a statue outside the stadium. "Auburn University: Where  cheaters, liars, and a thieves get a statue"



Since: Dec 19, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:40 pm
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

Thanks for the great representation TR, Dre, and Donte.  Good luck in the NFL.



Since: Dec 13, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:16 pm
 

Tide's Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Hightower to NFL

I'd love for the Browns to land Richardson and Hightower.  They might be positioned for both.  I'd prefer Upshaw as they need outside more than inside but I'd be fine w/ him.  All 3 had impressive college careers.


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