Alabama Commit Derrick Henry and Florida Commit Kelvin Taylor Shine on ESPN

Tim LangevinFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2012

Yulee (FL) High School 5-star RB Derrick Henry verbally committed to Alabama Friday afternoon on ESPN

About seven hours later on ESPNU, the Hornets defeated Glades Day (FL) 42-6 as Henry rambled for 363 yards and six TDs.

It was his 39th consecutive 100-yard game. Last week, the stud-muffin cruised to a state record 502 yards and six TDs in a 45-28 win over Jackson (FL).

Do the math. That's 865 yards and 12 TDs in two games. For some backs, that's a season's payload. 

Speaking of payload, Florida commit and 4-star RB Kelvin Taylor finished the game with a prosperous 223 yards and one score. He has jetted for 1,107 yards and 16 TDs this season. 

Taylor ended his junior campaign with 3,152 yards and 42 TDs.

Henry rushed for 2,610 yards and 34 TDs his junior season; this year, he has romped for 1,754 yards and 24 TDs. That's over 10 yards per carry and 348.6 yards per game.

These two Goliaths rank No. 1 and No. 2 in career rushing yardage in the state of Florida. Taylor has recorded 10,805 yards and 164 total TDs (five seasons) while Henry has registered 9,617 yards.

Henry received 16 offers before choosing Alabama. The summer of 2011, he committed to Georgia and then de-committed this past June. Tennessee was also on his short list.

The 6'3", 245-pound Henry fits the prototypical Alabama-style running back. He has great balance, vision and breakaway speed. He's also explosive at the point of attack and keeps his legs moving as he pulls away from defenders.

Henry runs a 4.52 40-yard dash, but more impressive, he has a 42" vertical.

Taylor received nine offers before choosing Florida on Feb. 18 over Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami (FL), LSU and Tennessee, to name a few.

The 5'11", 216-pounder runs a 4.63 40-yard dash and comes from an elite bloodline. Kelvin is the son of Florida graduate and former All-Pro RB Fred Taylor.

The younger Taylor is a natural gifted back with great instincts, power, elusiveness and vision. He has great balance, quick feet and a strong lower body (making him difficult to tackle), and also hits the hole with power and speed.

Henry may be the more gifted of the two most prolific running backs in Florida school-boy history, but Taylor declared the wiser college choice.

It is baffling that Henry picked Alabama over Georgia and Tennessee. The lure of BCS championships, and former Heisman Trophy winners evidently, blindsided him.

The Crimson Tide are loaded with talented running backs and the pool just got deeper with two more  2013 running back commits in Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones. Add to the mix incumbents Eddie Lacy, a junior, and freshmen T.J. Yeldon, Dee Hart and Kenyan Drake.

That's a lot of competition for one spot in 'Bama's two tight end offense.

Kelvin Taylor made a smart decision when he chose Florida. No matter what anybody says, he will receive the benefit of the doubt if it comes down to playing time.

But more important, Florida has very little depth at the running back position. Senior Mike Gillislee is the top dog with 402 yards and five TDs this season. His backup is sophomore Mack Brown, who has 15 carries for 63 yards.

The only other running back in the Class of 2013 is 3-star commit Adam Lane from Winter Haven, Florida.

It's a strong possibility that Taylor could be the feature back next season.