The pressure to maintain Alabama’s greatness kept Derrick Henry motivated.
In a piece by ESPN’s Ryan McGee, the former Crimson Tide running back mentioned that his “single biggest fear every day” was becoming part of the reason why Alabama’s incredible run of late stopped.
Of course, Henry did his part to keep the Crimson Tide rolling. He enjoyed a fine college career, posting 3,591 yards rushing with 42 touchdowns from 2013-15. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2015 before the Tennessee Titans selected him in the second round, 45th overall, in the most recent NFL Draft.
Check out Henry’s complete thought below, which is a revealing insight into how driven players approach their careers in Tuscaloosa.
“My single biggest fear every day was that I did not want to be the guy who caused the winning to stop,” Henry says. Standing along that same Georgia Dome sideline watching his former Tide teammates, he is straight-faced serious. He recalls his freshman year in 2013, joining the team as it came off consecutive BCS national championships and its third in four years. One year removed from high school, he carried the football just 36 times. Upperclassmen incessantly reminded him of his responsibilities.
So did his phone. “It was blowing up all the time with texts and calls from former Alabama players,” Henry says. “‘You better listen to the coaches, you better keep this going, you better stick with the Process.’ I didn’t even know these guys. But now I do the same thing. I’ll be doing it here tonight.”
It’s not surprising to hear someone like Henry speak about pressure to stick with the Process.
That trust in what coach Nick Saban has built is a big reason why Alabama has maintained such dominance of late. It’s interesting to hear how Henry received advice from former players to maintain that standard of excellence, and it appears Henry is doing the same thing for Alabama’s current players.
The Crimson Tide will try to clinch a chance to play for a second consecutive national title when facing Washington in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31.