A host of household names departed the corps of college football last winter. So did some lesser-known but crucial moving parts. Today, we get acquainted with their replacements. Here are 10 teams (listed alphabetically) with gaping holes to fill:
Alabama: Trent Richardson
Last year: Richardson finished the 2011 season ranked fifth nationally in rushing, averaging perilously close to 130 ground yards per contest. He ranked sixth in scoring, averaging more than 11 points per contest. About all he failed to do was follow up Mark Ingram’s Heisman with a stiffarm trophy of his own.
This year: The next guy up, if you want to get technical about it, is 2011′s No. 2 man Eddie Lacy. It’s a big dropoff from Richardson’s 130-yard average production to Lacy’s 56, but you have to like the numbers Lacy put up on such a paltry allowance of carries (674 rushing yards, 95 touches). Lacy recently returned to action following offseason foot surgery and will be a full participant in fall camp.
But like CBS’ Daniel Lewis, we are almost more intrigued by the guys coming up behind Lacy: Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart and T.J. Yeldon. These players are always fun to track at ‘Bama because, like Richardson behind Ingram, they are undeniably talented, have to wait their turn and will be endlessly clamored for on the radio and message boards the first time Lacy has an off night.