From the day Derrick Henry gave his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama, the future of Crimson Tide football, in respect to the running back position, was being shaped for future success.
Henry, the most prolific running back in the history of the high school ranks, from a statistical standpoint, is now poised to stake his claim as Alabama’s starting running back for the 2014 season.
Spending most of the 2013 campaign on special teams, and at running back during “mop-up duty” in games that had already been decided, Henry finally earned his chance to steal the show on January 2, 2014 at the Sugar Bowl. While Alabama lost the showdown in New Orleans to a quality Oklahoma squad, Derrick Henry had his very own coming out party against the Sooners.
When practice resumes for Alabama in early August, all eyes will definitely be on Henry, but the pride of Yulee, Florida simply won’t be handed the starting job by default. Under head coach Nick Saban, only those who have earned the field, take the field. Henry will obviously be no exception. Tide fans, and college football fans in general, have seen how various cases of fumbleitis have caused even the best ‘Bama running backs to be relegated to spectator status, so nothing is ever a sure thing.
In respect to the Crimson Tide’s stable at running back, Henry will join standout T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, Altee Tenpenny, Tyren Jones, Bo Scarbrough, and the monstrous running back/h-back hybrid known as Jalston Fowler. While Henry and Yeldon will likely share “A and A1” duties in a rotating backfield, nothing is ever written in stone, especially when it comes to what Nick Saban expects from his players.
With Henry’s skill set, coupled with his size, standing 6-foot-3 and topping the scale at 238-pounds, No. 27 is certainly in position to follow in the collegiate footsteps of Alabama success stories such as Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, and Eddie Lacy. Quite obviously, only time will tell in respect to the final mark Henry will leave on the Crimson Tide football program, but what is not in dispute is that the most promising running back on Alabama’s current roster has all the intangibles to become one of the greatest players to ever wear the crimson and white.
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