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John Bazmore, File, Associated Press
FILE - This Oct. 22, 2011, file photo, shows Alabama running back Trent Richardson (3) running past Tennessee defensive lineman Daniel Hood (76) during an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa Ala. Stanford's Andrew Luck, Baylor's Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson are among the players expected to receive invites to the Heisman Trophy presentation when the finalists are announced.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Trent Richardson became a star long before he was a starter.

The Alabama tailback has his shot at the Heisman Trophy and national title just like his Crimson Tide predecessor. Mark Ingram garnered both two years ago and it was his talent that kept Richardson from starting.

Ingram, however, says he saw Richardson's potential back then, particularly on a tackle-breaking run against Arkansas that convinced him "we had a special guy."

Richardson is a Heisman finalist who will also get another shot at a second national title Jan. 9 against LSU.

Since Archie Griffin won his second straight in 1975 for Ohio State, only Southern California has had two Heisman winners in a three-year span, accomplishing that twice.

Richardson has run for 1,583 yards and a school-record 20 touchdowns.