Why 5-Star RB Derrick Henry Should Pick Tennessee over Alabama

Randy ChambersAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2012

Photo Credit: theladysportswriter.com
Photo Credit: theladysportswriter.com

Running back Derrick Henry will soon make his decision on where he will attend school next season and bless some lucky backfield with his talents. The current 5-star recruit had decommitted from Georgia back in June and now has two new schools on his mind at the moment.

While Georgia is not all the way out of the running, Henry has Alabama and Tennessee as his two favorite schools. He will make his decision on Friday between 3-3:30 p.m. EDT, according to reports by Chad Simmons of Scout.com.

Henry is a huge running back at 6'3", 243 pounds, but he also has a great deal of speed, which makes him one of the more talented players of the 2013 class. And while Alabama will likely be the favorite for his services, here is why the talented running back should pick Tennessee instead.


Chance to Become a Star in Knoxville

Yeah, I know, head coach Derek Dooley is on the hot seat, Tennessee hasn't won a bowl game since 2007 and Alabama has won two of the last three national championships. I get it. But the Volunteers are slowly rising and becoming a force in the SEC, with the team is still recruiting extremely well and becoming much more competitive on the football field.

One position the Volunteers have not done well at is running back, as Marlin Lane was the last 4-star recruit back in 2011 to commit to Tennessee, according to Scout.com. While the Volunteers used to be a prestigious program, top recruits are simply going elsewhere these days. Henry really has a chance to change that and become one of the best players this program has seen in a while.

Tennessee is still trying to get the ball rolling and the 5-star recruit can help speed up the process. You can either pick Alabama and become just another terrific player on the football field, or become a Marcus Lattimore type and be looked at as the star of your football team. Henry has a chance to receive a lot more attention if he picked the team out in Knoxville.

RB Coach Jay Graham Has Made an Impact

Jay Graham is simply a running back guy. He played four years for the Tennessee Volunteers, racking up over 2,700 career rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. He has recently become the running backs coach for the program and has done tremendous work with the unit.

A team that was dead last in the SEC running the football last season is now eighth in the conference, averaging 172 yards on the ground. Graham was also the running backs coach for South Carolina the past couple of seasons and helped Marcus Lattimore rush for over 1,100 yards and scored 19 touchdowns in 2010.

Having Graham on the coaching staff really gives Tennessee somewhat of an advantage, according to a report by Chad Simmons of Scout.com.

"Coach [Jay] Graham really recruited me well and I like him a lot as a coach and as a person. Seeing how he coaches Marcus Lattimore as a freshman and how he has made UT's running backs better since he got there is something I like." Henry said.

Improving an overall running game by 82 yards a game is something not any coach in the country can do. This has to be appealing to the 5-star recruit, as coach Graham certainly knows how to put his running backs in position to succeed.


Alabama Is Already Deep at RB

Recruits that have an option to play anywhere in the country want to play right away and see the field early and often. In Alabama, the running back position is absolutely loaded and doesn't guarantee the 5-star recruit any significant playing time.

Running back T.J. Yeldon will become the star running back for the next two years for the Crimson Tide, as he is already popular around campus his true freshman season. Dee Hart is a speedy running back that has the potential to fight for some carries once he becomes more consistent. And to top it all off, Alabama already has two 4-star running backs from the 2013 class in Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones, according to Scout.com.

It took Eddie Lacy a couple of seasons to become the full-time starter, and he still has to split many carries with other talented running backs. Henry will have a much better chance at becoming a legitimate starter if he ends up picking Tennessee over Alabama.