Derrick Henry to Alabama: Crimson Tide Land Coveted 5-Star Recruit

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

Photo Courtesy of Orlando Sentinel
Photo Courtesy of Orlando Sentinel

The long-awaited decision from 5-star running back Derrick Henry has finally arrived, as the Yulee, Fla. superstar will head to Alabama to play for Nick Saban, according to

Derrick Henry is officially going to #BAMA! He is officially joining the #RollTide!

— (@Rivals) September 28, 2012

A sensational senior, Henry's decision did not come without some controversy. He had initially committed to the University of Georgia and head coach Mark Richt, but backed off his verbal agreement after a June visit to Alabama, per CBS Sports.

Listed at 6'3" and 243 pounds, Henry is a bruising back that looks like Brandon Jacobs running the football. Because of his size, some schools wonder whether the third all-time leading rusher in Florida high school history would be better off on defense or at tight end. 

Understandably, Henry balked at that notion, and his astounding numbers at Yulee back up his desire to stay a running back. With over 8,000 yards for his career, Henry sits behind just Emmitt Smith and fellow Class of 2013 member Kelvin Taylor (Glades Day School), who is committed to Florida.

And it's not as if Henry is a slow or plodding back. He projects as a one-cut runner in college, but he does have more than enough breakaway speed. With a 4.53 time in the 40-yard dash and sneaky lateral quickness, he should easily transition into a solid SEC back. 

For Nick Saban, getting a recruit of Henry's level at this juncture is nothing but a massive coup. 

As a December graduate, Henry will likely enroll in school at Alabama early and try to position himself in Crimson Tide's backfield as a freshman.

With his long-awaited decision finally over, it's time for Henry to start living up to his 5-star hype.