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LSU Vs. Alabama 2012: Jim McElwain-Coached RB Trent Richardson Expected To Be 1st Round Pick

While the rematch of LSU vs. Alabama in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game is expected to be another defensive struggle (LSU defeated Alabama in November, 9-6, in overtime), one difference-maker could be future NFL first-round draft pick Trent Richardson. The running back should go over 1,600 yards on the ground and will have at least 20 rushing touchdowns when his junior season ends.

More: SB Nation's LSU vs. Alabama Title Game coverage

ESPN Insider Todd McShay has this to say about Richardson, his No. 4 overall player in the draft:

Richardson is clearly the top running back in the 2012 class -- and one of the highest-rated backs in recent years -- thanks to an elite combination of size, speed, power, balance and vision.

And fellow Insider Mel Kiper writes:

Richardson's splitting carries in his first two seasons will benefit him. Powerful, fast and with improved vision, he runs with good pad level and breaks tackles with ease.

Alabama offensive coordinator and Colorado St. Rams head coach McElwain will be able to some recruiting for the Rams simply by having Richardson attack the LSU defense throughout the game. In the final weeks of recruiting, McElwain will be able to tell his recruiting targets that they, too, could be turned into future college and NFL stars (though the latter must wait for Richardson).

It's not going to be easy for McElwain to revive the Colorado State football program, but he'll likely bring his SEC heritage to the school.

For more on the BCS National Championship Game, visit Alabama blog Roll Bama Roll and LSU blog And The Valley Shook. For more on Jim McElwain and the Colorado State Rams, stick with SB Nation Denver and head over to the Mountain West Connection.