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Stephen's Report

Derrick Henry: A national champion and Alabama’s rushing leader

Cedric Mason- Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Four talented running backs were signed in Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class, yet only one stayed. The one that remained emerged Monday night as a national champion and the school’s all-time career rushing leader. Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry is no longer a myth, he is a legend.


Henry was in a tough situation nearly three years ago.

A tough 31-45 loss to Oklahoma in the 2014 Sugar Bowl almost led to him leaving Alabama. Conversations with Saban and teammates kept him Tuscaloosa. He became the centerpiece of a Lane Kiffin offense this year and did not disappoint. The 6-foot-3, 243-pound junior terrorized college football with 1,986 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in the regular season. He eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark in Alabama’s 38-0 shutout win over Michigan State and swept the College Football Award show, earning Maxwell, Walter Camp and Doak Walker national honors. Henry joins ex-Crimson Tide back Mark Ingram as the program’s second Heisman winner.

Henry’s 158 rushing yards and three touchdowns against Clemson puts him at 2,219 yards and 28 scores for the season. He surpasses Alabama legend Shaun Alexander (3,565) for first all-time in career rushing yards with 3,591. Henry is also tied with Ingram for most rushing touchdowns in a career (42).

“Finish” was Alabama’s goal all year and Henry did it.

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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