Alabama Football: Top 10 Running Backs During Saban Era

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Bo Scarbrough
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Bo Scarbrough /
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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

2. Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry burst onto the scene in the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma in 2013. The six-foot-three, 247 pound running back ran for 100 yards on eight carries. Henry also added a 61-yard touchdown reception.

The Yulee, Florida product was the number one high school athlete in the nation. Schools recruited him as a linebacker instead of as a running back. Why? He holds the nation’s high school career record in rushing yards with 12,124 yards. Derrick once rushed for 510 yards in a game. Finally, he ran for a Florida record 4,261 yards and 55 touchdowns for his senior year.

Henry’s sophomore season he split carries with TJ Yeldon. He still led the team with 990 yards and eleven touchdowns.

Videos circulated of his workouts flipping monster truck tires and pushing pickup trucks before his junior season. Apparently playing on another level, Henry was a workhorse for the Crimson Tide with an Alabama record 395 carries. In the Iron Bowl, he carried the ball 46 times for 271 yards and a touchdown. Nick Saban has always favored limiting carries for his backs to keep them fresh.  However, Henry became stronger with every carry he received. Alabama’s second Heisman winner rushed for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Derrick will forever be mentioned in Alabama football lore as his junior season was sensational. The Doak Walker Award, Maxwell Award, and Walter Camp Award all rest in his trophy mantle.