TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Yulee High School football coach Bobby Ramsay said Alabama running back Derrick Henry's spirits are up as he recovers from a broken fibula.
Ramsay said he last saw Henry when he was home for graduation, but the two text often.
"Once he got out of the boot and back on two feet, everything kicked into high gear for him," Ramsay told the Anniston Star on Tuesday. "He's never been injured before so he had to get past the initial stage of being hurt. His spirits have perked back up."
Henry, a 6'3", 238-pound running back from Yulee, Fla., was sidelined for the Crimson Tide's A-Day game after suffering the injury in the team's second scrimmage.
At the time, Henry was the team's third-leading rusher with 131 yards on 29 carries in his two scrimmages.
Ramsay noted that Henry was disappointed with the timing of the injury, but said the coaches told him he had gotten everything he could out of spring training and that the scrimmage was more for the fans.
Ramsay feels this injury will give Henry extra motivation.
"He already knows he has doubters about rather he can be a running back in college," Ramsay said. "Certainly the competition at (Alabama) at the running back position is tough to begin with. I think he wants to show everybody what he can do.
"Sometimes with an injury like this, you can come back stronger from it because you push yourself so hard in rehab and build your body up."
Henry will have a lot of competition for the second running back spot as the Tide signed three top-10 tailbacks in its 2013 class: Alvin Kamara, Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny.
Along with the incoming
talent are veterans looking to make a name for themselves.
Behind projected starter T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart will all be fighting for carries.
"Derek's skillset is unique. That's the difference between him and everyone else," Ramsay said. "He's going to stand out a little bit more with his size, maybe bring a few more things to the table. There's not another 6-foot-4 running back that can run a 4.4 on the team."
Ramsay recognizes Henry still needs to grow as a player.
"One thing I told him when he left was to live in his protections," Ramsay said. "The key is going to be how well you pick up blitzes. If you can't block, you're not going to be able to play. That and catching the football. ... Working on becoming a complete player."
Henry was one of seven freshmen to enroll in January. In November 2012, he set the high school career rushing record at Yulee, surpassing Ken Hall's previous mark of 11,232 yards.