by Lee Brecheen
August 26, 2011 – One of the best Running Backs in the state of Louisiana in 2010 was Jalen Richard at Peabody High School in Alexandria, Louisiana. Jalen Richard ran for an incredible 2,289 yards and 33 Touchdowns in 2010. This kid has tree trunk legs that are very powerful on his 5-9, 196 pound frame, and he’s super quick hitting the open holes and outside to break long runs.
Jalen runs a 4.5/40, and has run a 10.6 100 meters. He squats 455 pounds, benches 305, and cleans a really strong 255 in the weight room. Many family members have played college sports. His Mom played Tennis at Southern University. Jalen moved to Baton Rouge when he was six years old, recently in the last few years he moved from Baton Rouge to the city of Alexandria. Jalen Richard also has really good grades with a GPA of a 3.6 and an ACT score of a 22 in the classroom.
What I like most about this kid on film is he’s so powerful to bring down in the open field, and he’s got that extra gear for such a compact back to break the long runs, and gets better as the game goes on. He’s a great kid and super hard worker. Jalen will miss the 2011 season after going to a summer camp and tearing his ACL. The good news is Jalen will be 100 percent by Jan or Feb of this year, and he will make one heck of a RB for some lucky team that takes him on signing day.
Some of the best runners in the NFL were under 5-10; namely, Barry Sanders (5-8), Kevin Faulk (5-8), Emmitt Smith (5-9, 205), and Walter Payton (5-9). Remember the name Jalen Richard in years to come because he’ll be playing college football at a campus near you.
For more on Jalen and his teammates at Peabody High School and all the High Schools and Colleges in Louisiana, be sure to order the 2011 Louisiana Football Magazine Preview Issue at www.lafootballmagazine.com/store.
I hope you enjoy the interview below with Mark Clements.
Interview by Mark Clements
LAFM: For starters, what’s your current height, weight and forty time?
JR: I’m 5’9”, 196 and 4.4.
LAFM: Are you originally from Louisiana?
JR: Yes sir, I was born in Baton Rouge.
LAFM: Which teams did you root for growing up?
JR: Coming up it was LSU and Alabama. Pro team, my dad is a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan. It’s always been Cowboys, even when they had Quincy Carter and went 2-14.
LAFM: When did you first start playing football?
JR: I’ve been playing football since I was five.
LAFM: Has it always been a big part of your family? Have you had any family members who played football in the past?
JR: My dad was my coach all the way up until junior high. It’s always been a big part of my family. My dad played, my grandfather’s brother played, my grandfather played and my grandfather was going to play with Eddie Robinson at Grambling but my grandmother got pregnant with my dad and that stopped him from going to play college football. So when I go to play college ball, I’ll probably be the first one to go to college and play football.
LAFM: Do you play any other sports?
JR: Track, and I did play basketball up to my junior year.
LAFM: What events do you run in track?
JR: I run the 4×4, the 4×2, the 4×1 and the open 100.
LAFM: We have you listed as a running back, do you play any other positions?
JR: Yes sir, running back is my main position and I do kick returns and occasionally the wildcat.
LAFM: Is there anyone in college or the Pros that you look up to or try to model your game after?
JR: I kind of take bits and pieces from everybody, but I do watch a lot of film on Marshall Faulk. Actually, I’ve been told by a few people that Marshall Faulk is one of those players that I run like, which I kind of do after I watch him and watch myself. I can catch the ball too but not a lot of people see that because I run it so much, but I can get out there and catch it too. I also like Adrian Peterson.
LAFM: What do you think is your biggest strength as a player and what part of your game are you trying to improve upon most next year?
JR: This year, I tore my ACL at Ole Miss, so this senior year I’ll be sitting out. I had surgery July 20, so I’ll be out this year.
LAFM: Ok, so what’s your plan to get back on the radar and show coaches that you’re healthy and ready to play college ball?
JR: It’s actually been fine. Actually, out of all the offer I had, pretty much all of them stayed and I picked up some new ones.
LAFM: Have you been to any camps at this point? If so, which ones?
JR: Well, I only ended up going to one when I was supposed to go to many. I tore my ACL toward the beginning of Ole Miss camp. I thought it was a knee sprain and I get back home and it’s torn.
LAFM: Which colleges have you received offers from?
JR: Air Force offered me two weeks ago and I got an unofficial from Duke. Also, Louisiana Tech, Southeastern, McNeese, BYU, Memphis, Northwestern State, ULM, Grambling – those are all offers.
LAFM: Which schools stick out right now at the top of your list?
JR: I really like Louisiana Tech. Tech, Duke and Memphis are my top three.
LAFM: Have you thought about what you might want to study in college?
JR: I was thinking something in the science field, like Biology.
LAFM: What are some goals you’ve set for next season, for yourself and for the team?
JR: Last year my goal was 2,000 yards and over 20 touchdowns. I got that, I ran for almost 2,300 and I got 33. The team goals are to get to the playoffs. I’ve been helping out the running backs and everything because I’m hurt. They’re shooting for the playoffs. The whole line is back, so that’s a good thing. I think they’re shooting for 9-1 or 10-0 this year. They want to go undefeated.
LAFM: Which school is your favorite to play against, or which game gets you the most fired up each year?
JR: Bolton High is a good rivalry game. But definitely the biggest game with the biggest crowd and the biggest hype every year is when we play ASH – Alexandria Senior High.
LAFM: What are some of the most memorable games or plays you’ve been a part of?
JR: My favorite game was a heartbreaker. It was this year against Leesville. I ran for seven touchdowns. We had accumulated 48 points, I scored 46. But we ended up losing my three points. I did everything I could.
LAFM: And lastly can you give us your current GPA and ACT score?
JR: My ACT is a 22 and my GPA is a 3.6, almost 3.7.