Derrick Henry Wanted to Transfer from Alabama During Freshman Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2015

Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) runs the ball in for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama won 37-10. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Alabama's offense is going to be centered around star running back Derrick Henry this season. But that almost wasn't the case, as Henry wanted to transfer from the school in 2013 during his freshman season, according to Alex Scarborough of ESPN.

Henry was homesick at the time, buried on the depth chart and struggling with the tough love from the coaching staff. In December 2013, his support system—his parents and several former coaches—sensed he was struggling at Alabama and called an intervention of sorts to ensure he didn't transfer.

"His first instinct was, 'I want to leave, I don't want to be here,'" his mother, Stacy Veal, told Scarborough.

But he didn't leave, and during that season's Sugar Bowl, he had his breakthrough, notching 161 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, he split time with T.J. Yeldon but rushed for 990 yards, and when Yeldon entered the NFL draft, the starting job became Henry's.

And he hasn't disappointed. Henry opened the season by torching Wisconsin for 147 yards and three touchdowns, and he added 96 rushing yards and another three scores against Middle Tennessee.

"I'm still not where I want to be," Henry said. "There's still a lot of work to do."

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Indeed, but he already should be considered one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy and will be one of the key figures in Alabama's quest for a national title. Were it not for one intervention by his parents and former coaches, however, it's possible none of that would have been the case. 

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