About this time a year ago, Emmanuel Henderson had Auburn on top of his list. The star out of Hartford (Ala.) Geneva County grew up a Tigers fan, he is very familiar with the Plains, but over through last spring, and especially into the fall, things shifted towards the other part of the Iron Bowl.
Clemson and Georgia actually moved past Auburn on Henderson’s list, but Alabama was the school all were chasing in the fall. The 6-foot-1, 185 pound playmaker watched a game October 17, and after that game, things really became much clearer.
“After the Georgia game, something really changed for me and I started thinking more and more about committing to Alabama,” said Henderson. “I had always liked them, and they were a top school for me, but that game changed things for me.
“I really saw how they used their backs, how their offense fits me, and I just saw the fit. That game is when things really shifted and I got a lot more for me with Alabama.”
Charles Huff left Tuscaloosa to take over as Marshall’s head coach after the season, and some may have thought that would effect Henderson, but that had no impact.
His mind was actually made up well before Huff made that move, and Charles Kelly has been his lead recruiter from the beginning.
“I knew around November that I was definitely going to Alabama. I thought about committing back then, but I gave it more time, I kept communicating with schools, and Alabama just kept pulling away even more from everyone else.
“Nothing ever changed with the coaching change at running back. My feelings about Alabama just gotten stronger.
“I liked other schools early, but Alabama is the school for me. The coaches are great, the offense fits me, and I have known for a while that is where I am going.”
Henderson makes it sound like this was almost too easy. He is a top 100 player, he has offers from elite programs, and he spent a lot of time on the phone with coaches the last 18 months, but things just fell into place for him with the Crimson Tide.
“Alabama is an in-state school that wins championships and produced great players,” said Henderson. “What they do fits me. How they play fits me. The coaches fit me. It is a great place for me to go.
“I am going to the top school in the country, and it happens to be in my home state. It is going to give me a chance compete with great players every day, I am going to get great coaching, and it is great feeling to be committed to Alabama.
“Recruiting was a little stressful for me, but I made my decision a while back. I am just happy to tell everyone about it now. Everyone knows I am 100% with Alabama and locked in.”