• 55°

Richardson named runner-up for Athlete of the Year award

Linden High School senior Sean Richardson&8217;s combination of athleticism, achievement, academic renown and all-star character proved to be more than enough to earn the senior serious consideration for the first Athlete of the Year award.

While Richardson had a productive career on the Linden basketball team, his 6&8217;3&8221;, 185-pound body will not allow him to play in the post at the next level as it did for 1A Linden. However, that frame translates to a prototype player at his strong safety position on the gridiron. His build, athleticism, work ethic, productivity and academic prowess proved to be the perfect storm, landing him offers from Duke, Troy, Clemson, UAB and his future school, Vanderbilt.

From his safety spot, Richardson racked up 101 tackles, picked off three passes, forced two fumbles and recovered one during the Patriots&8217; 2007 campaign. Still, while he made his name on defense, Richardson was no slouch offensively. He averaged 13.3 yards per carry in limited action rushing the ball, but caught 21 passes for 316 yards and six touchdowns while serving as a prime end zone target for Linden.

His size, strength and speed were all factors college scouts were drooling over, but Richardson was more than just raw talent.

If the numbers fail to tell his tale, the accolades do not. The senior was named a first team West Alabama all-star and was nominated to play in the Alabama All-Star game, an honor he will forego in honor of his commitment to the Commodores.

Off the field, Richardson was one of the top students in his class, and was also looked at as a leader by fellow students. When the Linden seniors met to take photos for the who&8217;s who in their senior class, Richardson was the most-photographed student of the day.