Derrick Henry was one of four running backs signed in Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class and despite him starting a career in the National Football League, the 2015 Heisman winner and national champion hasn’t forgotten a promise he made to a friend.
Ex-Crimson Tide back Altee Tenpenny died in a one-man car crash on Oct. 21, 2015.
He, Henry and Alvin Kamara (Tennessee Volunteers) grew close in their time together, until Tenpenny requested a transfer from the program in the summer of 2014. Tenpenny’s tragic death occurred during the week of Alabama’s match-up against Tennessee; a game in which players wore No. 28 decals on their helmets to honor their fallen friend, brother and teammate.
While the Tide dedicated its 2015 season to him, Henry has gone a step further. He has decided to change his NFL number from 2 to 22, paying homage to Tenpenny for the Tennessee Titans.
After totaling 2,219 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns a year ago, Henry was selected in the second round (45th pick) of NFL Draft. He dominated preseason action with three scores and a 6.7 yards per carry average. Henry and the Titans will open its regular season on Sept.11 against Minnesota.