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RB Kenyan Drake, special teams clutch for Alabama over Clemson

Cedric Mason- Touchdown Alabama Magazine

He was neither a 1,000-yard rusher nor a national award winner, but Alabama running back Kenyan Drake will be remembered as one the best competitors and fan favorite.

He overcame a lot of adversity, including a gruesome leg injury against Ole Miss in 2014. The senior spent countless hours in rehab to restore his body and confidence.

He struggled for much of the year due to frustration and an fractured right arm against Mississippi State, yet Drake made one play Monday night that changed the course of the game.

Clemson trailed Alabama 31-24 in the fourth quarter after a made 31-yard field goal from kicker Greg Huegel. Drake fielded the ball on the issuing kickoff and went to work.

He eluded two tackles in an attempt to create an angle on the right side of the field. Drake followed his blocks, captured the edge and accelerated 95 yards for a crucial touchdown.

He stretched the ball across the pylon before Tigers’ defensive back T.J. Green could stop him. The Crimson Tide seized momentum at that point, leading 38-24. The play was a result of Drake’s hard work and to pay homage to his former teammate and friend Altee Tenpenny. He was one of multiple X factors that came to play, and now Drake and Alabama will enjoy its 16th national championship in program history.

It defeated Clemson 45-40 in a shootout.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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