Rider staffers are already referring to Trent Richardson as Vince Young 2.0.
Vince Young — the former University of Texas quarterback who was drafted third overall by Tennessee in 2006 and whose star faded before his 30th birthday.
But the Saskatchewan Roughriders gave him a chance to jumpstart his football career, until he blew out a hamstring nine days into training camp.
Three months into the CFL season, enter Trent Richardson.
“There’s a whole lot of people that thought they were real good players once upon a time,” said head coach Chris Jones after Richardson’s first practice session with the Riders on Tuesday.
“And so for us not to bring in a guy who has that kind of pedigree and at least kick the tires, I don’t know how smart that would be if they’re willing to come.”
Six years ago, Trent Richardson would not have given the CFL a moment’s thought.
He graduated from the University of Alabama with the same hype that surrounded Vince Young.
A can’t-miss prospect, the top rated running back since Adrian Peterson.
Richardson was drafted third overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2012 but then started down a path similar to Young’s.
He bounced around the NFL, showing glimpses of his college brilliance, only to be released for the final time.
Richardson hasn’t been near the game since he was shown the door by Baltimore in August of 2016.
This summer, the Roughriders placed Richardson on their negotiation list.
They finally came to agreeable terms this week — or at least Richardson’s patience waiting for a call from the NFL finally wore out.
“I just can’t let it go,” the 27-year-old Richardson confessed to the Saskatchewan media on Tuesday.
“I’m too young right now, I’ve got too much talent to be sitting on the sidelines to be at a point where I want to coach or at a point where I want to say I’m done with it.”
Which is advantageous for the Roughriders, as there was no resemblance of a run game against the Stampeders last Sunday, resulting in Kevin Glenn on his back several times and a 15-9 loss.
But there’s not enough urgency to rush Richardson into the lineup for Friday’s game in Ottawa. Jones said there’s no chance he will play.