The skinny: Derrick Henry

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Five-star athlete Derrick Henry (Yulee, Fla.) makes his college decision public at 3 p.m. Friday, on the same day he and his teammates play Glades Day (Fla.) and the nation’s No. 1 running back prospect, Kelvin Taylor.

Needless to say he will head into that game committed and with something to prove on the field.

Henry is a running back for his high school and wants to play the position in college. He put up a state record-breaking 502 rushing yards last week. In college, he could project at a number of positions. We feel his highest upside is at h-back/tight end or on the defensive side of the ball.

Henry is one of the top jumbo athletes of the past five recruiting cycles. He consistently is timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash and at The Opening (all-star camp) this summer, he clocked a 4.12 pro agility shuttle and a 41-inch vertical leap. Those are combine-topping type numbers for an athlete his size.

Henry is expected to select Alabama over Tennessee. The Crimson Tide coaching staff has informed him that he can play running back in Tuscaloosa should he head there. He made an official visit to Bama last weekend and was in Knoxville the weekend before on an official.

Landing Henry, who was committed to Georgia for nearly a year (from July 15, 2011 until June 13, 2012) would be another big recruiting pull from the Sunshine State for Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt, 247Sports’ National Recruiter of the Year for the 2012 class. It would also help the Crimson Tide, currently No. 2 in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings, draw a bit closer to No. 1 USC.

Rankings and Ratings

Henry is ranked as the No. 20 overall prospect in the country by 247Sports, the No. 2 prospect in the athlete category and the No. 5 overall prospect in the state of Florida. According to the 247Composite, which weighs equally the rankings and ratings of multiple media networks that cover recruiting, he is No. 26 overall prospect nationally, the No. 2 athlete and the No. 7 overall prospect in Florida. Henry has a rating of 98 from 247Sports, which makes him a five-star prospect. According to the 247Composite, his rating is .9794, which makes him a four-star prospect.

Timeline

Five significant events

Sept. 22- Officially visits Alabama
Sept. 21- Rushes for a state record 502 yards against Jackson
Sept. 14- Officially visits Tennessee
June 13- De-commits from Georgia
July 15 2011- Commits to Georgia at Dawg Night Camp

Link- Henry Player Timeline

Twitter Buzz

ESPN’s Tom Luginbill (@tomluginbill) this week “Pumped up about RB Kelvin Taylor and ATH Derrick Henry on @espnu this Friday @ 8 p.m. et. Two drastically differing styles on display. FUN!. ...FoxSports’ Jamie Newberg (@jamienewberg) this week “RBs Derrick Henry and Kelvin Taylor have rushed for a combined 19,838 yards in HS. They face each other Friday in Yulee. ...Jeff Greer of the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post this week “Yulee RB Derrick Henry named US Army All-American Player of the Week ahead of big matchup vs. @ImKelvinTaylor on Friday. ...Last week, Henry himself (@KingHenry_2) “I’m not afraid of NO COMPETITION, I REPEAT IM NOT AFRAID OF NO COMPETITION. Get that...”. ...May 12 Bleacher Report’s Full Ride (@BR_FullRide) “I do think #UGA commit Derrick Henry has absolutely amazing tools and could be a scary good OLB, if #Bama flipped him.

Link- Henry Expert Tweets

Scouting Report

"Derrick Henry is one of the best jumbo athletes I have seen in in the last few years. The 6-foot-3.5, 246-pounder has a number of special athletic qualities that combine explosive power, natural strength, foot quickness and agility. While it's unlikely he will play running back at the next level, he will likely start his career taking handoffs in Tuscaloosa. What he has shown as a high school running back is the ability run with physicality, and the speed to score from anywhere on the field in a straight line. Should he move from running back, but stay on the offensive side, H-back would likely be his role, or position. While he doesn't get to show his hands much at the high school level, he has flashed enough to feel comfortable in saying he can catch the ball and with the desired ball skills. If he moves to the defensive side long term, which is where we project, outside linebacker would be his home in a 3-4. At the same time, he has the frame to stack considerable weight/muscle mass over time and playing at 275-pounds or more is not out of the question. Wherever Henry ends up, he will be a pretty special athlete needing only development to be a difference maker type of player at the next level." 

- Gerry Hamilton

Prediction

From the moment Henry de-committed from Georgia this past summer, all signs have pointed toward Alabama being the pick. Credit Tennessee with doing everything it could to make a run at the talented athlete. The Vols were in the mix, stuck with Henry even when he was committed to the Bulldogs and in my opinion, gave him something to think about, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome Alabama, especially with him making a decision fresh off his official visit to Tuscaloosa. Pruitt gets the job done again in Florida near I-10. From Jacksonville to Mobile there are a lot of players and Pruitt is the best in the country at mining that area. THE PICK- Alabama 90 percent

- JC Shurburtt

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