Alabama will be without one of its top offensive athletes for the rest of spring after true freshman running back Derrick Henry fractured his tibia in Saturday's scrimmage, according to his high school coach Bobby Ramsay.
Henry, who was the No. 1-rated athlete in the 2013 recruiting class, was having a very solid spring until his injury and was actually the Crimson Tide's third-leading rusher through two scrimmages. Alabama was already dealing with rehabilitation efforts from backs Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart, who both suffered season-ending knee injuries last year.
While the Tide will have to wait to see if Henry will be back up to speed this fall, Alabama does have three more highly recruited running backs arriving this summer. Alvin Kamara, Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny were all top-10 running backs in the 2013 class and were also ESPN 150 members. Plus, 1,000-yard rusher T.J. Yeldon returns along with rising sophomore Kenyan Drake, who rushed for 281 yards and five touchdowns on 42 carries last season.
Alabama certainly won't be short at the running back position this fall, but they'd love to get Henry back on the field. He could be a real difference-maker in this offense. With his 6-foot-3, 238-pound frame, he's a mismatch waiting to happen on the field. He can be a threat carrying the ball and catching it out of the backfield.
This is why Nick Saban loves stocking up on running backs.
"To me, to have really good depth at running back, you need five really good players," Saban said on national signing day. "Three of those guys usually play a lot, so I know in your guys' little fantasy football world you put these guys' names down, but there are circumstances. I think a lot of these guys are going to have a good opportunity to contribute next year."