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November 8, 2011

Notebook: Juniors rave about UA visit

Yulee, Fla., running back Derrick Henry committed to the University of Georgia in July, but that didn't stop the highly coveted 2013 prospect from visiting Alabama for the first time over the weekend.

"If I get the chance (to visit Alabama), I'm going to make sure I take full advantage of it, and I'm interested in Alabama as well," Henry said.

It didn't hurt that the No. 2 Crimson Tide faced No. 1 LSU in what many called the 'Game of the Century.' It was the first big game Henry had been to, and despite the loss, he came away impressed with how Alabama played.

"The atmosphere was crazy," he said. "I felt like I was at a pro stadium. The game was great. If you liked defense, then you enjoyed the game. I feel like Alabama dominated the whole game, but they just missed some opportunities. That's why they're still No. 3."

On his visit, the UGA commit toured the athletic facilities, talked with the coaching staff and watched the UA players arrive at the stadium for the Walk of Champions before he attended the game.

"I thought Alabama was great," Henry said. "The atmosphere was crazy, especially for that big of a game. I had never been to anything like that. It was awesome. I love the stadium, the facilities. It was top-notch, and everything was first-class.

"I talked to Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt. I talked to the running backs coach on the field and Coach (Nick) Saban just said hello to me and greeted me. They said they liked big backs. They like getting the ball to their backs, and they're a pro-style team that will get you ready for the next level."

Henry, a 6-foot-3, 232-pound running back at Yulee High School, has taken notice of how Alabama has used their running backs since the arrival of Saban and the success they have had.

"They treat their running backs real well and get their backs the ball," Henry said. "Trent Richardson is up for the Heisman (Trophy), and Mark Ingram won the Heisman, so I like Alabama and what they do with their backs and the whole concept with Nick Saban."

Henry plans to visit Georgia this weekend as the Bulldogs will host Auburn.

S.C. athlete enjoys weekend at UA


Tramel Terry committed to Georgia the same weekend as Derrick Henry, at the conclusion of Dawg Night, but the South Carolina athlete has since reopened his recruitment and was also in Tuscaloosa on Saturday for the LSU game.

"It was pretty crazy," Terry said. "Luckily, we didn't caught in traffic, but it was still jam-packed. All of the parking was gone. It was real crazy. I think that's basically the definition of SEC football. It doesn't get any better than that."

Even though he's listed as a wide receiver, 6-foot, 190-pound star kept a close eye on the defensive backs for each team because that's where he feels he may end up at the next level.

"(The game) was crazy," Terry said. "Most people probably didn't enjoy the game because it wasn't an offensive game, but it was real cool to watch the defensive backs because they could all be first round (picks). It was cool to watch them because I'll probably be playing defensive back in college."

Terry has had a lot of communication with the UA coaching staff recently but said he could play either wide receiver or defensive back if he chooses Alabama. At this point, the Goose Creek, S.C., native doesn't have a preference.

"I could play receiver or defensive back," Terry said. "I'm not too tall, and I'm not too short, so it doesn't matter. I don't have a preference right now, but everybody's telling me that I probably have more potential at cornerback because of my size."

Before the game, Terry got a tour of Bryant-Denny Stadium and was blown away by how massive the Crimson Tide's stadium really is.

"I got to go inside the stadium and see the recruiting room, the locker room, stuff like that," Terry said. "I always thought that Tennessee was probably one of the biggest stadiums I've ever seen, but Alabama's right there. I liked how they had four jumbotrons. That's
crazy."

Terry also bought himself an Alabama hoodie to take to the game with him. He's scheduled to visit Georgia on Saturday but said no schools are standing out right now.

Tide still leads for McCrary after visit


With Saturday's game tied 3-3 at halftime, there weren't too many people inside Bryant-Denny Stadium who were ready to leave. However, 2013 quarterback prospect Johnathan McCrary was one of the few who did leave early in order to beat the traffic.

"I wanted to stay for the full game, but I pretty much know what I need to know about Alabama right now," McCrary said. "The atmosphere was amazing. I like how Alabama fans say 'roll tide' after every first down. It just makes you want to go play football."

Alabama is still No.1 on the Georgia signal caller's list after the visit.

"They've got character," McCrary said. "When I go there, they treat me like a human being. They don't treat me as a recruit. They treat me as a person."

Even though the Crimson Tide holds a commanding lead to land his signature, McCrary isn't ready to pull the trigger just yet. He wants to visit other interested schools before making a final decision.

"I'm not going to make my decision right now because I haven't been to any other colleges yet," McCrary said. "When I do go to other colleges, I'm going to judge them just like I judge Alabama."

At Saturday's game, McCrary ran into 2013 UA commitment Reuben Foster. The two face off this weekend in the first round of the playoffs.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.


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