2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 27 Derrick Henry, Alabama
SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.
Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
27. Derrick Henry, Soph., RB, Alabama
An unknown nationally during the regular season as a freshman, Alabama’s fabulous five-star sparked the Crimson Tide offense during their Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma with 161 yards from scrimmage and two scores on just nine touches. He showed tremendous burst on a 61-yard swing pass, shaking three tacklers despite clear angles en route to the end zone.
Commence the 2014 buzz.
A definite household name by season’s end, Henry will be unleashed in the SEC West this season even if consecutive 1,000-yard rusher T.J. Yeldon handles most of the carries. There is a disclaimer, however: Should Yeldon’s propensity for fumbles continue, running backs coach Burton Burns will have an easy decision on who to call Alabama’s featured back.
We’re expecting Henry to finish just shy of 1,000 yards this season, but he’ll average over six yards per carry while more than doubling his touchdown total.
2013 statistics: 36 carries, 382 yards, 3 TD
2014 projection: 156 carries, 983 yards, 9 TD