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Derrick Henry hilariously answers question on was he paid at Alabama: “I got paid nothing. They paid me in rings.”

Derrick Henry reaches end zone for 94-yard touchdown versus Texans
Steve Roberts - USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Henry has been the best running back in the National Football League for two straight years.

He has twice won the league’s rushing title and paced the Tennessee Titans to the AFC playoffs.

Henry was awarded NFL Offensive Player of the Year and made first-team All-Pro for his performance in 2020. Before earning the respect of his peers in the pros, the native Floridian was a superstar in college. As a five-star prospect, he pushed the University of Alabama to a pair of Southeastern Conference titles in 2014 and 2015 and a College Football Playoff National Championship in the 2015 season.

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Henry put the Crimson Tide on his back in his junior year. He rewrote the single-season school rushing record with 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns on 395 carries. Henry also set the SEC’s single-season rushing record and carried home a trophy case filled with awards.

He brought the Tide its second Heisman Trophy winner and was taken in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

During an episode of Bussin’ With the Boys, a podcast hosted by Taylor Lewan and Will Compton, Henry was having fun with his teammates on the Titans. One thought that rival fans and players have about Nick Saban is he pays athletes to play at Alabama.

With each top-ranked signing class, people ask the question: “how much did Alabama pay these players?”

Saban does not pay anything for student-athletes, but outside factors believe it’s too good to be true.

When the tandem of Compton and Lewan approached Henry with the question of payment, his response was both correct and hilarious.

“I got paid nothing. They (Alabama) paid me in rings,” Henry said.

Jokingly, Lewan said Henry was paid a lot to sign to the Tide. However, Henry insisted that championships were his payment.

“If we are going to win, put it all on me,” Henry said in referring back to 2015 at Alabama. “And what happened, I won the Heisman. Won the Doak Walker. I took home the Walter Camp. I took home the Maxwell, and I took home a ring.”

The conversation was fun, but it tells you Saban does not have to jump through hoops to get players.

Young men genuinely want to play at Alabama, because they know the program is top-notch.

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Henry was the epitome of a player who wanted to be great in college. He dominated at Alabama and was rewarded for it, and his success has traveled to the NFL. Hopefully, Henry will be able to add a Super Bowl to his growing list of accomplishments.

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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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