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Even in the NFL, Derrick Henry remains a huge ambassador of Alabama football

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban has built up a reputation where he can go anywhere on the recruiting trail and sign any student-athlete he wants.

As influential as the six-time national champion is in college football, it is even better to have a former standout from the program co-sign as well. 

Derrick Henry will forever be a favorite among Crimson Tide fans. 

The native Floridian arrived as a five-star prospect in 2013 and though he had doubts, Henry locked in and became the school’s all-time leading rusher. As a junior, he took the game by the throat and recorded 2,219 yards rushing with 28 touchdowns. Henry not only carried a full workload in the backfield, but he also paced Alabama’s offense to a College Football Playoff National Championship in 2015. He took home every marquee award that season – including Doak Walker, Maxwell, Walter Camp, SEC Offensive Player of the Year, unanimous All-American and first-team All-SEC. Henry’s strength, work ethic and determination earned him the Heisman Trophy to, as he gave the Tide its second Heisman winner in program history. 

With him doing so much for Alabama as well as the SEC, the SEC Network paid homage to Henry on last week.

He quoted the post on Twitter with the caption: “’Y’all recruits know where it’s at #TIDEEEEEEEE.” 

Even in the National Football League, Henry appreciates Saban and Alabama. 

Hopefully, young athletes took notice as Henry accomplished every goal that he had at the collegiate level. He’s coming off a season where he was the NFL’s rushing champion (1,540 yards) and co-leader for touchdowns (16). Henry guided the Tennessee Titans to the AFC Championship Game; however, it lost to Patrick Mahomes II and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

RELATED: 2020 college football season is 100% happening, per Joel Klatt

Henry enters his fifth NFL season this fall.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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