Running back Derrick Henry, who considered Georgia and Tennessee, committed to No. 1 Alabama, feeding into the notion of the rich getting richer.
Henry, of Yulee, Fla., is 6-foot-3, 242 pounds who is the state’s second all-time leading rusher behind only Florida running back commit Kelvin Taylor. Henry has amassed an astounding 9,255 rushing yards in his prolific career.
“I love the (Alabama) program, I love the coaches,” Henry said. “I love coach (Nick) Saban and the rest of the coaches and the other players. I just feel like I have a chance to be very successful at that program on the field and off the field. They have been superior at my position and superior in the SEC over the last three or four years. It’s looking good at Alabama, and I’m just ready to get down there and get to work.”
Get this: In Yulee’s 45-28 victory over Jacksonville (Fla.) Jackson last Friday, Henry set the Florida single-game rushing record with 502 rushing yards on 45 carries and added six touchdowns.
Henry said it was tough to say no to Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham, his primary recruiter for the Volunteers.
“It was very close,” Henry said. “I liked the coaches at Tennessee and the way Coach Graham recruited me — I really like him a lot. Just seeing what he did in college and in the NFL and then he coached Marcus Lattimore, who was a freshman All-American at South Carolina. Just visiting with Coach Dooley and the coaches, you see how the program is evolving. They are up on the rise and Derek Dooley is doing a good job.”
Henry, who will enroll at Alabama in January and compete in spring football, says he will fit in nicely to Alabama’s offensive scheme because of his size.
“I fit in real well,” he said. “T.J. (Yeldon) is a similar back, but I’m probably a little bigger than he is. At the same time, being at Alabama, they will help me be a better back and be more physical than I already am and just help me get better.
“As I watched Mark (Ingram) and Trent (Richardson) in that program, they grew tremendously from their freshman to their junior years. Mark won the Heisman and Trent won the Doak Walker. So I know if I go to Alabama the sky is the limit — I can do anything I want to.”