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Who Will Take Derrick Henry’s Snaps?

by Craig Stephens
May 13, 2013 5:30 PM EDT



You’ve probably heard by now that  No. 1 overall athlete, and according to some scouts, No. 1 overall recruit Derrick Henry broke his leg during practice. He had been described as a bigger and faster Trent Richardson, which is a terrifying image for opponents. It always hurts to lose a five-star recruit, but Alabama won’t miss a beat. T.J. Yeldon rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season and had already been named the starter.

Kenyan Drake saw the field a little bit last year, rushing for five touchdowns and already had a large lead on Henry for the backup role. On top of that, Alabama brought in three other top running back recruits. The embarrassment of riches Nick Saban acquired at running back has proved useful with this injury. The Tide won’t have a problem doling out Henry’s playing time.

While the backup running back is not a highly-publicized position on most teams, Saban has been known to use multiple backs every season and turn these subs into stars. Trent Richardson first garnered attention from his work spelling Mark Ingram, and eventually became the fourth pick in the NFL Draft. Saban knows that his school is the best pipeline for running backs to get to the pros and recruits this way. He told these freshman running backs that they were not going to get all the carries, but the platoon would keep them fresh for long NFL careers. Still, it’s hard to make a name for yourself if you’re the fifth running back on the team. It will be a stiff competition for No. 2.