The following is a sports commentary blog from WBRC FOX6 Sports Anchor Rick Karle:
They were the scariest four words an SEC coach or player could hear, and they came directly from the mouth of Alabama defensive lineman Jarran Reed: "He's another Derrick Henry," said the big fella. I could immediately hear the Crimson Tide's opponents: "Ruh Roh." Over thirty years after Bo ran wild at Auburn, Crimson Tide fans are about to see their own Bo run wild in Tuscaloosa. Tailback Bo Scarbrough looks poised and ready to bowl over some opposing defenders in 2016. But another Derrick Henry? After all, an athlete like the 2015 Heisman winner comes along once in a generation. Well my friend, get ready for Scarbrough to be generation next!
It was national championship game media day last January. I pointed to a huge football player across the room in Arizona and asked FOX6 cameraman Anthony Moore to guess what position he played. "Defensive line," said Moore. "Try again," I uttered. "Linebacker?" he guessed. When I pointed out that the player was a tailback named Bo Scarbrough, Moore rolled his eyes as he said, "Man, he's as big as Derrick Henry." Well, just about as big. You see, Derrick Henry ran 6-foot-3, 242 pounds. Scarbrough, at his peak weight, ran about 6-foot-2, 240 pounds. This spring, Scarbrough weighs in at about 230 after working hard to shed pounds. Yes, Nick Saban is about to let loose "Bama Bo," a monster tailback that will leave a few marks as he rumbles down the field. But another Derrick Henry?
Henry's 2015 campaign was sensational as the native of Yulee, Florida ran for a record 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns. This kid looked like a freight train on the loose, running for 236 yards against Texas A&M, 210 yards against LSU, 204 yards against Miss. State, and 271 yards against Auburn. Henry averaged over 105 yards a game after contact, and he was fed the ball some 339 yards. Can Bo be the next Derrick? While he will have competition from tailback Damien Harris, Scarbrough already looks like he's up to the challenge. In two scrimmages this spring, Scarbrough has rushed for 243 yards and four TD's and he's looked good doing it. And his work ethic? Here's a young man who benches nearly 500 pounds, squats some 525 pounds and runs a (get this)… 4.4 forty. Bama's Ryan Anderson says, "I've been seeing from Bo what I've seen from him since I got here. He's capable of being a workhorse. He's a great player, very athletic. Y'all see the numbers he's been putting up? All he needed was a chance."
After a 2015 season when he was suspended for the first four games, and also tore his ACL in the spring, Scarbrough ran for a mere 104 yards on 18 carries. Of course part of the reason was because this kid named Derrick Henry was running wild. Now it's Bo Carbrough's turn, and if I played on defense for a Crimson Tide opponent, I'd be concerned. Just when that dang Nick Saban loses Henry, along comes "Bama Bo." I mean, when does it ever end for that Bama football team?
Can Bo Scarbrough have a season similar to Derrick Henry had last season? Those are some lofty expectations. Look for Bo to catch the ball out of the backfield a bit more often than Henry as Scarbrough is a former receiver. Like Henry, Bo can bring it, as the Tide's DaShawn Hand says, "If you play against him, you better bring it, because he's a man."
Our moral of the story? Those rooting against the Crimson Tide have yet another reason to be cranky, as Saban has once again developed a tailback who could be the biggest and baddest in the SEC come this fall. And if you root for Bama? Enjoy the ride, as it's Bama's turn to let Bo loose!