clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

National Signing Day Flashback: Derrick Henry 2013

Can you imagine Derrick Henry playing football against high schoolers? Well, you don't need your imagination. It just doesn't seem fair.

It seems like only yesterday...
It seems like only yesterday...
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Coming out of Yulee High School in the northeast corner of Florida, Henry was listed as a 6'3"/240 ATHLETE because some thought he might wind up at linebacker. Actually, many fans (and allegedly some coaches) of other schools tried to convince the future Heisman winner that Nick Saban would move him to the defensive side once he stepped on campus.

High School Rushing

Year Grade Team GP Car Yds Avg Y/G Lng TD
12-13 Senior Varsity 13 462 4,261 9.2 327.8 80 55
11-12 Junior Varsity 12 309 2,567 8.3 213.9 90 34
10-11 Sophomore Varsity 11 303 2,689 8.9 244.5 75 38
09-10 Freshman Varsity 11 313 2,465 7.9 224.1 n/a 26

47 1,387 11,982 8.6 254.9 90 153


247sports ranked Henry the #1 ATH with 5 stars and #12 overall in the nation.

ESPN: #1 ATH, 5 stars, ninth overall.

SCOUT gave him 4 stars but the top RB and #22 overall.

Rivals deemed him worth 4 stars, fifth best among RBs, #36 overall.
Running backs ranked higher, all of whom were give 5-stars:

  1. Derrick Green, Michigan: 47 rushes for 157 yds, 2 TDs in 2015.
  2. Thomas Tyner, Oregon: After 115-711 yards as a freshman and 113-573 the next season, he sat out this past season with shoulder issues and has announced his retirement from football.
  3. Greg Bryant, Notre Dame: Took a medical redshirt, followed by 303 yards, 3 TDs in 2014. Rather than sit out a suspension for violation of team rules, he transferred to ASA College. Has committed to play for UAB in 2017.
  4. Ty Isaac, Southern Cal: 40-236, 2 TDs for the Trojans in 2013 and then impatiently transferred to Michigan to not much better effect. Sat out 2014 and went 30-205, 1 TD this past season. #LifeChoices

What they said:


No doubt this is a big, strong, fast and athletic prospect -- but what position Henry plays in college is up for debate. A highly productive running back in high school who can run through or around his competition, Henry is tall, well-built and has great straight-line speed for his ...(the rest is behind a paywall)


The thing that's so impressive with Henry is the defense knows what's coming and they still can't stop him. He's a freight train who happens to be 6-foot-3 and 243-pounds. He had 35-carries on the night and one reception and didn't seem to lose a step in the second half or late in the game. Henry runs with power and has a mean stiff arm. Henry is a long strider with deceptive speed and athleticism. He can change directions for a big back and has nice balance and vision. Sure he runs high but what 6-3 running back wouldn't?  At the end of the day Henry is not the most graceful of backs you will ever see. But he's literally a physical workhorse that won't be denied and who gets the job done. Henry has super endurance and seems to be just one of those guys that gets stronger as the game unfolds.

SCOUT September 28, 2012

How will Alabama use Henry?

Derrick Henry chose Alabama over Georgia and Tennessee on Friday and the Crimson Tide landed a an elite athlete that has produced at a high level in high school...(the rest is behind a paywall)


Henry wore a large smile walking off the Alamodome turf *. After years of being told he was too big, too stiff and too slow to play running back in college, Henry silenced his doubters by leading all rushers with 10 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown. Henry was more explosive and shifty than expected, showing patience in waiting for holes to open and the quickness to bounce it outside when running lanes clogged.


Enrolled at Alabama, Henry became the nation's all-time career rushing leader this season, surpassing 11,000 yards over his four-year career. The Hornets fell one game shy of reaching the state title game, a feat impossible to fathom for Yulee without Henry. He carried this team on his back and now heads to Tuscaloosa to try and prove all the naysayers wrong. They say he can't be a college football running back. We're willing to wager. Played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, where he met Ken "Sugarland Express" Hall, whose 59-year-old record Henry broke this season.


Unless you have been in a coma for the past year, you have likely heard of this guy. Henry broke the national career high school rushing record – a record that stood for 59 years – with an astounding 11,610 yards and 153 TDs (55 in 2012). He has amazing size for a RB. Built like a linebacker (he is the same size as Nico Johnson), he can flat run over folks. Henry should be a fun player to watch.

* He was the leading rusher in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl with with 53 yards, a touchdown, and a 2-point conversion.

Henry was an early enrollee at Alabama which definitely gave him a leg up on the other running backs of that class, all of whom have since transferred out: Altee Tenpenny, Alvin Kamara, Tyren Jones.