Derrick Henry officially announced his departure for the NFL on Friday, thanking Nick Saban, his teammates and several others in his statement.
Read the Alabama running back’s full transcript below:
As you all know, I will forgo my senior season and declare for the NFL draft. It’s been an unbelievable experience here these past three years, of going to the University of Alabama. It’s been something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life: the memories, everything I was taught here from my coaches, from my teammates, and also in the classroom.
I just thank God for this whole experience. Like (Saban) said, winning two SEC championships, a national championship and a Heisman Trophy. I just couldn’t do it without the people. I’ve learned and grown both as a player and a person here.
I’d like to thank coach Saban for what he’s done for me, being a great ambassador and a great coach of what you can learn about from life and also the game. I was able to get better and better every day by the way he challenged me in practice and also in the classroom by doing my best just so I can be successful.
I’d like to thank coach Burns, who made me into the player I am today by staying patient with me, working with me every day. Also teaching me about life and the game. Every day is a lesson I learn from him about the game and my position, just helping me get better and better.
I’d like to thank my teammates — my brothers who I’ve grown with throughout the years, just growing and learning and becoming a better person. Through the good times and the bad times, I feel like that all made us better, and I’m glad we were able to end it on a good note this year with the national championship.
Also, I’d like to thank my family, who always supported me throughout my life, always been there for me. My mom and dad. My grandma, who’s made me into who I am today. My aunts. Just everybody who’s supported me. I love them. My hometown has supported me. The whole Yulee area down in Florida. I just want to thank them so much for all their support.
It’s been an unbelievable experience. God has been good, and I’ve been so fortunate with what I’ve been blessed with. I just want to thank the whole University of Alabama, everybody who’s been a part of this organization. It’s been a first-class organization. From the trainers to the media guys, the academic staff. Just been blessed, and just want to thank everybody. Thank you.
As of Friday, Henry and defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson are the only two Crimson Tide juniors entering the draft. They join a large group of seniors who are trying to continue their careers at the professional level.