Almost everyone remembers Alabama's October 4th game against Ole Miss last season. Television viewers witnessed two devastating losses: 'Bama losing that game, but also losing an important player on offense, running back Kenyan Drake.
When the injury occurred, people weren't worried about whether we would have him back soon; they were concerned if he would ever walk, run, or play football again. And now, six months later, Kenyan Drake is running full speed on the practice field. Many players would not be able to play again after enduring such an injury; it would mentally paralyzing to step out on the field again, fearing a re-injury might happen again.
A product of Powder Springs, Georgia, Drake had been an important component in the Kiffin's revamped Tide offense. In the month before his injury, Drake was leading the team with 6 touchdowns, he had twenty-two carries for 112 yards and five receptions for 159 yards. His career totals attest to his scoring threat, considering he missed most of a junior year: 156 attempts for 1087 yards, totaling seventeen touchdowns.
Drake is predicted to be a key component in the Tide's offense again this year. Between Kenyon Drake and Derrick Henry, the Tide is hoping to dismantle the opposing team's defense. Drake's style is different from the ‘get out of my way' running style that Henry has. Drake has speed, agility, and quick hands, all of the things that could help create a dominant spread offense for the Crimson Tide. Last season, Kenyan was averaging 10 yards per play and a touchdown for every 4 touches.
Drake's agility and vision, similar to T.J. Yeldon's, is something that the Tide hasn't had too much of over the past few seasons. Most of the Tide's running backs--Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, and Derrick Henry--have had more of a ‘bulldozer' style. If Coach Lane Kiffin is able to evenly use both Drake and Henry on the field at the same time, the offense will be more versatile than in previous seasons, and absent an outside threat like Cooper, should see more touches.
Since this is Drake's senior year, it is safe to say that we are about to witness an epic comeback. I visited with Drake while he was recuperating. He was motivated and already looking forward to this next season. He has put in a lot of hard work on and off the field these past six months. His hard work, team ethic and perseverance have equipped him for this season. There have been questions about this season: Who will be the new QB? Who will be the defensive leader in the secondary? However, there is no question that Kenyan Drake will be ready to play his final season. He was down, but he wasn't out. His setback will only motivate him to have an epic comeback. It's what warriors do.