RB Derrick Henry commits to Bama

Updated: September 29, 2012, 1:05 AM ET
By Derek Tyson | RecruitingNation

YULEE, Fla. -- Four-star running back Derrick Henry of Yulee, Fla., has verbally committed to play for Alabama next season.

The 6-foot-3, 242-pounder chose the Crimson Tide over Georgia and Tennessee.

Henry, the state of Florida's second all-time leading rusher behind only Florida running back commit Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glades, Fla./Glades Day), has amassed an astounding 9,255 rushing yards in his prolific career and will face off against Taylor at 8 p.m. ET on Friday night in a matchup to be aired on ESPNU.

The ESPN 150 prospect said he chose Alabama because of the coaching staff and the successful running backs the program has produced.

"I love the program, I love the coaches," Henry said. "I love coach (Nick) Saban and the rest of the coaches and the other players. I just feel like I have a chance to be very successful at that program on the field and off the field. They have been superior at my position and superior in the SEC over the last three or four years. It's looking good at Alabama, and I'm just ready to get down there and get to work."

In Yulee's 45-28 victory over Jacksonville (Fla.) Jackson last Friday, Henry set the Florida single-game rushing record with 502 rushing yards on 45 carries and added six touchdowns.

Henry said it was tough to say no to Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham, his primary recruiter for the Volunteers.

"It was very close," Henry said. "I liked the coaches at Tennessee and the way Coach Graham recruited me -- I really like him a lot. Just seeing what he did in college and in the NFL and then he coached Marcus Lattimore, who was a freshman All-American at South Carolina. Just visiting with Coach Dooley and the coaches, you see how the program is evolving. They are up on the rise and Derek Dooley is doing a good job."

Henry, who will enroll at Alabama in January and compete in spring football, says he will fit in nicely to Alabama's offensive scheme because of his size.

"I fit in real well," he said. "T.J. (Yeldon) is a similar back, but I'm probably a little bigger than he is. At the same time, being at Alabama, they will help me be a better back and be more physical than I already am and just help me get better.

"As I watched Mark (Ingram) and Trent (Richardson) in that program, they grew tremendously from their freshman to their junior years. Mark won the Heisman and Trent won the Doak Walker. So I know if I go to Alabama the sky is the limit -- I can do anything I want to."