Southern Miss

An NFL running back wanted to walk across the stage at USM. Twitter got to work.

Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard (30) runs against the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 2, 2018.
Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard (30) runs against the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 2, 2018. AP

Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard has a diploma from the University of Southern Mississippi, but he hasn’t yet made the ceremonial walk across the stage at Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg.

Thanks to a simple request on Twitter, that will change in May.

Richard tweeted at the Southern Miss athletics Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon, asking if he could come back to Hattiesburg at the end of the spring semester and walk along with the rest of the new graduates.

 

As his request bounced around Twitter on Tuesday, Richard received a response from Jim Coll, who is the chief communication officer at USM.

 

Not long after, Richard let his Twitter followers know that he had already been granted permission to wear the gap and gown at the May 10 ceremony.

 

Spring commencement is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. on May 10 inside Reed Green Coliseum.

Richard has become a key piece of the Raiders’ offense in his third season, catching 57 passes for 483 yards. He also has 44 carries for 238 yards. He landed a spot on the Raiders’ roster in 2016 after first having to taking part in a spring tryout with the team earlier that year.

The Alexandria, Louisiana, native played at USM from 2012-15, breaking through in his senior year with 185 carries for 1,098 yards and 14 touchdowns.

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