It’s only spring, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the fall. In the second installment of a position-by-position breakdown of the Crimson Tide’s 2015 roster heading into spring practice, Tide 99.1 looks at the running backs.

Who’s gone:
- T.J. Yeldon (NFL Draft)
- Jalston Fowler (graduated/NFL Draft)
- Altee Tenpenny (left program/expected to transfer)

Who’s back:
- Kenyan Drake (senior)
- Derrick Henry (junior)
- Tyren Jones (redshirt sophomore)
- Ronnie Clark (redshirt freshman)
- Lawrence Erekosima (walk-on redshirt freshman)
- Buddy Pell (walk-on sophomore)

Who’s new:
- Bo Scarbrough (early enrollee)
- DeSherrius Flowers (early enrollee)

Keep an eye on: Kenyan Drake. While his recovery from a broken leg suffered at Ole Miss appears to be going well, it remains to be seen if the rising senior will be ready to participate with the rest of the team this spring without limitations. Prior to the gruesome injury, Drake was Lane Kiffin’s most versatile offensive weapon, scoring a team-best six touchdowns (four rushing, two receiving). Many Alabama players agree that a healthy Drake is among the team’s fastest players, which was most evident on his 87-yard catch-and-run on the Crimson Tide’s opening play against Florida.

Overview: With Yeldon gone and Drake’s recovery time still questionable, Henry has cemented his place as Alabama’s primary option in its running back-by-committee attack. Still, while an obvious talent exists, Henry’s spot comes partially by default, too.

Along with Drake, the statuses of Jones and Clark, the Crimson Tide’s other two returning scholarship running backs, remain unknown. Jones was suspended indefinitely on Feb. 10 with no announcement made since about a return. Clark, a safety when he signed with Alabama last year and the only player currently on the roster listed at two separate positions, could still be limited by a torn Achilles tendon sustained last October. With the Crimson Tide’s seemingly reloaded depth at running back and two open starting spots at safety this spring, it wouldn’t be surprising if Clark moves back to defense full-time.

Scarbrough and Flowers, though new, could benefit from the question marks surrounding the other backs to vault up the depth chart. The last two freshmen running backs to participate in spring practice at Alabama, Yeldon and Henry, fared well in early playing time. Scarbrough, who was ineligible to enroll at the school last season after originally signing with the Crimson Tide in Feb. 2014, has been practicing with the team since December.

Predicted 2015 Post-Spring Depth Chart:

1. Derrick Henry
2. Kenyan Drake
3. Bo Scarbrough
4. Tyren Jones
5. DeSherrius Flowers

Still to come:
- Damien Harris (Rivals rated the five-star running back from Berea, Kentucky as the top player at his position in the 2015 class.)


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