When Alabama takes the field for its annual spring game this Saturday, the two-time defending national champs will do so without an early enrollee and one of the top members of its top-rated 2013 recruiting class.
The high school coach of running back Derrick Henry confirmed to TideSports.com that his former player sustained a fractured tibia during this past Saturday’s scrimmage. While the school has yet to confirm the injury, the coach added that surgery was performed and a plate inserted into the injured limb.
As a result, Henry will be unavailable for this weekend’s A-Day game.
The good news, though, is that Henry should be fully recovered at some point in July. Such a timeline would mean Henry would be available for and be a full participant in the start of summer camp.
“A kid like him, with the work ethic he has, I would expect him to have a quick recovery,” Yulee (Fla.) High School coach Bobby Ramsay told the website. “Naturally, he’s disappointed. But I talked to him and I think his spirits are going to be fine. He knows this isn’t as bad as an Achilles (tendon) or a knee injury. And I told him it’s better to have something like this happen now than in September.”
Henry was a four-star member of UA’s most recent recruiting class, rated by Rivals.com as the No. 5 running back in the country and the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Florida. In late November, Henry broke the national high school record for career rushing yards that had been set nearly 60 years ago. He also set the state’s single-game rushing record with 502 yards during a late September game last year.
Despite the injury, the 6-3, 238-pound Henry will still be viewed as one of the incoming freshmen who could make an immediate impact as the Tide looks for an unprecedented BCS three-peat.
UPDATED 1:21 p.m. ET: Head coach Nick Saban addressed Henry’s injury issue in a statement released by the school Tuesday afternoon.
“Derrick Henry suffered a fractured fibula in Saturday’s scrimmage and had successful surgery this morning with Dr. Lyle Cain,” Saban’s comments began. “With the support of our medical staff and the hard work and dedication Derrick has shown since he arrived, we are confident that he will make a full recovery for the start of camp this fall.”
As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.
From the university:
The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits. During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle. In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles. He later corrected his account and since apologized.
As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.
Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”
The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.
Hope he’s been practicing.
Say it ain’t so, Steve.
According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.
Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.
He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.
But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.
Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:
Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.