NEW ORLEANS -- If Alabama running back Trent Richardson is looking for a president for his fan club, he should look no further than LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery.
Montgomery, who has the unflattering job of trying to contain Richardson during Monday's Allstate BCS National Championship Game, thinks the world of Richardson. The 5-foot-11, 224-pound tank has impressed Montgomery so much that he's ready to put the Doak Walker Award winner on the highest pedestal ... in all the game of football.
"He’s the best running back in the world," Montgomery said without hesitation. "NFL –- best running back in the world."
Ask Montgomery twice, and he won't even think of changing his answer.
"I stand by that," he said.
Richardson, who was a Heisman Trophy finalist, led the SEC with 1,583 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. He also averaged 136.6 yards a game against SEC competition, so you can see why Montgomery had such complimentary things to say about the future first-round draft pick.
Montgomery has been eye-balling Richardson for a while, but he really started focusing on him after his 183-yard, four-touchdown performance against Ole Miss. That's also the game where he faked Ole Miss defensive back Senquez Golson out of his cleats with an amazing move he put on the youngster on his 76-yard touchdown run.
A few weeks later, Montgomery got to see Richardson in the flesh. Richardson totaled 169 yards of total offense, but had a few runs that left some LSU players looking silly and others bruised.
"He knows when to step in, when to hit moves," Montgomery said. "The move he hit in the Ole Miss game -- unbelievable. How does somebody think like that in that split second of time? How does he know to step in and step back and go forward?
"He’s an amazing, well-minded, well-rounded running back."
Montgomery coming back to school
Speaking of well-rounded, Montgomery has done pretty well for himself during his time at LSU. He's been a monster on the field (he was third in the SEC with nine sacks this year) and is 38 hours away from graduating with a kinesiology degree.
Montgomery sent in his NFL paper work to see how he might fare in this year's NFL draft, but even after getting a pretty good grade, Montgomery decided he needed another year of college football and wants to finish his schooling.
"I was very impressed, but I feel like I need to come back and learn more football, practice on my technique," he said.
Getting Montgomery back just adds to the embarrassment of riches that LSU's defense will have in 2012. This unit isn't particularly old, so the Tigers will be stacked on the defensive side of the ball yet again.
The thing about Montgomery is that this is his first full season of college football. He redshirted his freshman year and suffered a season-ending knee injury early in 2010. He's a physical freak who would have received a lot of interest from NFL teams this year.
He'll receive even more next year.