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Replacing Derrick Henry: Who will be the next great RB at Alabama?

Alabama's Bo Scarbrough (9) is the leader in the clubhouse to be the next great Crimson Tide running back. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Every featured running back at Alabama since 2008 has left school early for the NFL draft. First, it was Glen Coffee. Then Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Heisman finalist Trent Richardson followed suit. More recently, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon declared early and both were taken in the second round.

Now it's Derrick Henry's turn. The Heisman winner declared last Friday.

"It's definitely surreal," Henry said. "I never thought this moment would come, but it's here and I'm thankful for it. God has really blessed me so much in my life. I'm thankful for all the blessings that he's done. It's just a thing I never thought would come."

So what's that mean for Alabama? How do the Crimson Tide replace Henry's 2,219 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns next fall? It doesn't help that fellow running back Kenyan Drake is also gone.

But Henry believes in the young group of backs that played behind him. There's inexperience among them, but there's also talent.

"I'm very confident," he said. "Those guys did a great job and got better and better as the season went on. Coach [Burton] Burns is going to get those boys right, get them ready to go."

Here's a look at Henry's potential replacements:

Bo Scarbrough: Let's call him the leader in the clubhouse for now. Scarbrough didn't see nearly as many carries as Harris (below), but the coaches are very high on him heading into the spring. And how could you not be after watching him run against Michigan State in the semifinal game? The freshman ran just three times for 17 yards, but he ran with purpose. Doing his best Derrick Henry impression, Scarbrough was breaking tackles and dragging defenders behind him. And at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, he certainly looks the part physically. It's just a matter of whether he can do it mentally, week in and week out. Remember, he was suspended the first four games this past season. Health is also a concern as he's had multiple ACL injuries going back to high school.

Damien Harris: Between injuries, suspensions and transfers, Harris got thrown into the fire earlier than anyone expected. The true freshman, ranked No. 2 at his position coming out of high school, finished with 157 yards rushing and a touchdown on 46 carries. He showed glimpses against lesser teams like Middle Tennessee State and Charleston Southern, but he struggled for the most part against SEC competition. Still, it was a valuable learning experience and one that will only make him better going forward. He doesn't have the size of Henry or Scarbrough, but he's quick and he'll undoubtedly get stronger this offseason.

Ronnie Clark: A defensive back when he arrived at Alabama, Clark moved to running back to help with depth. Many thought he might play more this past season, but he finished with just five carries for 20 yards. With Henry and Drake both gone, expect Clark to remain at running back and get the same shot as everybody else to win the job. He was one of the state's best athletes in high school, and he's still only going to be a sophomore next year.

Derrick Gore: Recruitniks have likely never heard of Gore, a walk-on who arrived at Alabama after sitting out his freshman season in junior college due to injury. But Gore turned heads during camp last August and earned some playing time as a result of it. He still has two seasons left in Tuscaloosa.

B.J. Emmons: Could Alabama have found a running back that better fits what they do? Emmons won't arrive on campus until the summer, but according to ESPN's Tom Luginbill, the Tide commitment is one of the more college-ready backs in the 2016 class and could be a future bell-cow at the next level. Luginbill went as far as to compare the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Emmons to former Alabama star Trent Richardson. Nick Saban rarely redshirts running backs, so don't be surprised if Emmons makes an early contribution next year.