Alabama Football: RB Recruit Derrick Henry Main Target of Crimson Tide Focus

Ethan GrantAnalyst ISeptember 22, 2012

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Florida running back Derrick Henry broke the state record for rushing yards in a game Friday night, putting up 502 on the ground as Yulee High defeated Andrew Jackson, 45-28.

He finished the game with six touchdowns and was able to eclipse Emmitt Smith's state high-school record for total career yards (8,804), too.

It should be no surprise that in the SEC belt of recruiting, Henry has caught the eye of the Alabama Crimson Tide, who are reported to be the favorite amongst the schools Henry is currently considering.

Alabama hits home runs with its running backs on a yearly basis. Call it luck, good location or some sort of Nick Saban magic trick, but the Crimson Tide have produced Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Le'Ron McClain in recent seasons, and they don't look to be stopping any time soon.

This year's group includes Eddie Lacy, TJ Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Jalston Fowler, although the Fowler is out for the year after suffering a knee injury in Week 3. There's evidence to suggest this group could eclipse 2,000-2,500 yards on the season. The running-back train doesn't seem set to slow down any time soon on the campus of Tuscaloosa.

Although Henry is a Florida resident, he doesn't figure to factor in the University of Florida's recruiting plans. Emmitt Smith was a former UF alum, and breaking his record en route to his former school would be a nice storyline.

But Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee are the final three for the young, record-breaking Henry, and it has been reported that the youngster will make a decision on September 28.

However, contrary to that report, Alabama is set to host the running back for its upcoming game against Ole Miss, on Sept. 29, when Henry will be the sole "official visit" to campus, although there figures to be a crop of other recruits there, including some junior prospects: >> Small group of visiting recruits in Tuscaloosa includes 5-star Derrick Henry

— InsideTheTide (@InsideTheTide) September 20, 2012

Since he'll be in town close to the reported date set for his decision, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Yulee senior commit to the Crimson Tide after the game is over, especially if Saban is able to lead his No. 1 overall team to a big win.

Henry will be a popular national and SEC topic throughout the next cycle of recruiting all the way up to whatever all-star game he chooses to attend and national signing day. He should make headlines again when he eclipses the 10,000-yard mark, which could be within the next three or four ballgames, given his current pace.

Landing Henry would give Alabama another blue-chip prospect at its disposal, even though the Tide have one of the deepest running-back rotations in the country.

Either way, Alabama RBs get to the league, and that has to factor into Henry's decision.