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After weekend Tide visit, five-star RB decommits from UGA

Derrick Henry

The recruiting cyborg that is Nick Saban is at apparently it again.

Rumors have abounded in recent weeks that five-star — or four-star, depending on the service — recruit Derrick Henry was wavering on his longtime verbal commitment to Georgia. This past weekend, Henry took an unofficial visit to Alabama, which has been described as making a “steady and unrelenting pursuit” of the Florida running back.

Wednesday, Henry released a statement announcing that he has decommitted from Georgia and has reopened his recruitment. While no specific schools were mentioned, it’s believed that his most recent visit to the Tide was the tipping in his decision.

Here’s a portion of the statement:

“This has been a great experience getting to know so many great coaches and visiting some of the best college football programs in the country. Even though I’ve worked really hard to put myself in this situation, I know I’m blessed to have this opportunity I’m very thankful for that.”

“For me personally, this is one of the biggest decisions I’ll make in my life and probably the most important to this point. I want to be 100 percent sure I am making the best choice on where I go to college and to play football. I’m going to open up my recruitment and take some more visits, get as much information as I can, and then decide from there. I was probably a little too quick in making my initial decision and got caught up in the moment so I apologize for that. I’m still considering Georgia and I have nothing but great things to say about their program, but I want to be honest with everyone in the fact that I am going to go over all my options and do what is best for me and my athletic and academic career.”

Henry added in the statement that he wants to focus on his senior season of high school football and that any future questions should be referred to his head coach.

As the first verbal of UGA’s 2013 class, Henry has been committed to the Bulldogs since July of last year. The player himself stated that “I’m not sure when I’ll make a final announcement, but when I have no doubts at all about where I’m going, I’ll let everyone know.”

In addition to Georgia and Alabama, Tennessee and Florida, among others, are believed to be high on the list for the 6-3, 241-pounder, who is listed as the No. 1 “athlete” in the Class of 2013 by

(Photo credit: Yulee (Fla.) High School)

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18 Responses to “After weekend Tide visit, five-star RB decommits from UGA”
  1. crazycane says: Jun 14, 2012 10:14 AM

    So he tore up his old contract and re did a new one? Must’ve been for more $$ in lesser years. It’s the ‘Bama way after all!

  2. timh1955 says: Jun 14, 2012 11:12 AM

    #1 – He didn’t have a contract with UGA. That happens on signing day. #2 Name one time when the Univ of Alabama paid a player. If you are going to make juvenile accusations at least know a little about what you’re talking about.

  3. lbroberts123 says: Jun 14, 2012 11:19 AM

    @timh1955 Hey buddy… Albert Means ring any bells??

  4. woebegong says: Jun 14, 2012 11:38 AM

    If this young man wants to start his freshman year, he had better pick a different school than either UGA or Alabama. Both will have three top ten RB’s with experience already there, and I don’t care how unusual he is for his size, he still will have a bunch to learn. I think he would be a good fit for Tenn. and contrary to what the writer of this article say’s, his Tenn. visit was the first indication he gave that he was going to back out of his verbal to UGA, not his visit to Alabama.
    He is quite a big RB, but he has still got a lot to learn to play at the next level. He will have to lower his shoulder and not run so straight up. That might work when you are playing against a majority of guys that are actually smaller than you on defense, but in college, especially with SEC defenses, he will have to try and barrel over guys bigger and almost as fast as him, and it will take some time for him to be comfortable and effective at this. If he keeps growing, I can see where he might end up being a FB, or TE, although his receiving skills aren’t there yet.
    I am sure that I will get lambasted on this board for my comments, but I really think that the young man. given all his physical attributes is going to be a project in college, for the first year at least.

  5. motherscratcher23 says: Jun 14, 2012 12:58 PM

    Brett Bielema is beside himself.

    He must be furious about this.

  6. normtide says: Jun 14, 2012 1:17 PM

    Have not heard of a player bring paid on Saban’s watch, at any college he coached at. I do like the comments though, they are rooted in jealousy. Learning blocking assignments is usually the biggest hurdle for a freshman back. Best of luck in HS and anywhere he ends up.

  7. Deb says: Jun 14, 2012 1:19 PM

    crazycane … is that a reference to the Hurricanes? You’re not a Miami Hurricane fan sitting in a big ol’ glass house throwing stones at anyone else? Surely not! lol

  8. kozbee says: Jun 14, 2012 2:18 PM

    @ timh1955

    timh1955 says:Jun 14, 2012 11:12 AM

    #1 – He didn’t have a contract with UGA. That happens on signing day. #2 Name one time when the Univ of Alabama paid a player. If you are going to make juvenile accusations at least know a little about what you’re talking about.
    timh1955 do you recall the near death penalty by the NCAA in 2002 for Bama boosters paying for recruits.Read the link.
    Any team gets a chance will cheat sometimes.
    Bama got 5 years probation.

  9. Deb says: Jun 14, 2012 3:46 PM

    @kozbee …

    I won’t argue the Albert Means situation beyond saying the university should have had better legal representation.

    But that Antonio Langham nonsense still makes my blood boil. A kid’s sitting in a bar and an agent gives him his telephone number on a bar napkin. The coaches get a heads-up and vigorously question the kid, but he lies his head off to their faces. How is that their fault? Gene Stallings is one of the most straight-up coaches in football history. The NCAA made a big stretch and used that one incident to pile on and suggest a pattern worthy of near death-penalty proportions … which was absurd. And while Alabama was being punished–as is typical in these cases–Langham and his agent happily moved on to the NFL. That’s one reason Alabama now has such strict laws regarding college students and sports agents.

    As Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story. And as normtide said, for all the temper tantrums routinely thrown on this blog about Nick “Satan,” Bama’s current coach has a clean record.

    But timh1955 … next time remember the lawyer’s motto: Never ask a question if you aren’t sure of the answer. And never gamble that any NCAA program doesn’t have at least one skeleton in the closet.

  10. BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) says: Jun 14, 2012 5:05 PM

    Tom al-Betar

  11. Deb says: Jun 14, 2012 5:17 PM

    @BrownsTown …

    LOL … you know where Antonio Langham went when he got to the NFL, right? He and Cleveland deserved each other 😀

  12. irishdodger says: Jun 14, 2012 6:21 PM

    I imagine Tenpenny will start looking around after the Tide added another RB.

  13. kingmeech says: Jun 14, 2012 7:28 PM

    It’s one thing to hide a skeleton or two… but cars and houses

  14. Deb says: Jun 14, 2012 10:03 PM

    @kingmeech …

    Hon, with the NCAA’s history of going after our program, even you and BrownsTown should be able to figure out that if Comic Brooks had anything valid, we’d be slow-roasting on their spit. But I give the guy credit for knowing how to generate page-clicks on the Bama name.

  15. kozbee says: Jun 14, 2012 10:44 PM

    @ irishdodger

    You just could be right about tenpenny,another thing that im forseeing maybe is Reuben Foster going to school at Auburn high.I bet by signing day he will be a Auburn Tiger.

  16. dcroz says: Jun 15, 2012 7:46 AM

    Before everyone starts hyperventilating, I think this is simply a case of a kid who has discovered the thrill of being courted. He made his committment to UGA last July…before his JUNIOR season in high school. Now he’s looking around and seeing how all these uncommitted kids are getting the red-carpet treatment, and so he wants some of that, too, so he’s rescinded his verbal to the Dawgs to get some for himself. Nothing abnormal about a young person making an impulsive decision, then later figuring out he jumped the gun and changed his mind about it.

  17. florida727 says: Jun 15, 2012 10:42 AM

    I agree with “dcroz”. When this kid made his verbal, he got about 15 minutes of exposure and “fame”. Now he comes to the realization, hey, wait a minute, I can go visit all these schools, and get treated like the Second Coming? Heck yeah. Let the games begin.

    What’s more irritating to me, as a Gator fan, is that UF can’t keep these kinds of players in-state. Sure, we get our fair share, but when you’ve got 4- and 5-star kids leaving your own back yard, you’ve got a problem. I know… the same could be said for FSU or Miami. Same thing. Why can’t THEY keep this kid in-state? I’m sure some high-profile kids in Alabama don’t go to Tuscaloosa too, or high-profile kids in TN don’t show up in Knoxville, but man, it sure is irritating, isn’t it? So goes the recruiting game I guess.

    As far as the NCAA goes, they’re still clueless. The latest example is the lack of restrictions on the phone/text thing. Some of these kids will be getting texts at 2am.

  18. Deb says: Jun 15, 2012 1:15 PM

    @florida727 …

    You know, that’s the first thing I thought when reading the article: Florida kid–why UGA?

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