Yulee’s Henry runs past Taylor, Glades Day


On Saturday morning, new Alabama running back commitment Derrick Henry tweeted that he thinks Florida verbal Kelvin Taylor is “the best to ever do it.”

And while few would argue that Taylor isn’t the better back of the two, Henry was simply unstoppable on Friday night.

In front of a nationally-televised ESPNU audience and a crowd that school officials said was over 5,000, the state’s top two rushers of all-time each carried the ball 35 times and didn’t disappoint.

Taylor put up 223 yards and the only score for Glades Day, but Henry rushed for 362 yards and all six of Yulee’s touchdowns in a 42-6 win.

“I thought both backs ran the ball really well,” Glades Day coach Pete Walker said. “Kelvin broke a lot of tackles, kept the chains moving and got us in scoring position. Henry is a big kid, and sometimes we just bounced right off of him when we had people there. Early on we did a pretty good job gang tackling, but I think we had too many guys out there trying to tackle him by themselves.

“It’s not easy to tackle him or Kelvin one-on-one. We had to0 many instances were that was the case. He’s going to Alabama for a reason. We knew it was going to be tough and it was. He’s a great running back, they have a fine team, and they whipped us.”

Henry credited his team following the victory and said he enjoyed going head-to-head with Taylor.

“My teammates and coaches did a great job,” Henry said. “The offensive line opened the holes, the fullback gave me great blocks and the receivers caught some balls. So that made things easier for me. That was the best our defense played all year. Kelvin’s a great back. He’s the No. 1 leading rusher in Florida and I know he runs hard. He still did really good in the game and it was fun battling against him.”

ESPN National Recruiting Director Tom Luginbill, who called the game, said Class 2A Glades Day was just outmatched against Class 4A Yulee.

“The difference tonight was they got worn down because they didn’t have the same caliber of athletes,” Luginbill said. “The one edge was they had some semblance of a passing game — even if it was just a couple plays here and there — that could offset the pressure being all on Derrick Henry’s shoulders. Once they got some creases opened up, they started wearing down Glades Day throughout the course of the game.”

Luginbill said Friday’s night broadcast was one of his most memorable because it featured two “fantastic” backs.

“They were both as advertised,” Luginbill said. “One just happened to be on a better team and had a little more balance that opened up more opportunities and took some pressure off the run game. You didn’t have that with Glades Day. They could not throw the football and were running against nine-man fronts the entire night. And Taylor still pulled off 223 yards.”

Florida coach Will Muschamp was in attendance to watch Taylor, who added to his state-record career totals in rushing yards (10,765) and touchdowns (166). He now has 9,221 yards since his freshman year and is 2,011 shy of the national record (11,232). His 1,584 yards from eight grade only count toward his state numbers.

“I just wanted to do the best I could to try to help my team win,” Taylor said. “We just came up short. They got a great team and a great defense, too. I believe I could have done better, but I did okay. I’m just going to keep working hard and keep getting better.”

After seeing Taylor live, Yulee coach Bobby Ramsay said the classification criticism he receives is ridiculous.

“I know what Derrick can do, but Kelvin’s phenomenal,” Ramsay said. “I feel bad the kid gets knocked for the level he plays on. He’s a stud on any level. Kelvin is just so quick. Incredible footwork. He can hit the hole or get outside and he’s hard to tackle. Derrick’s a little bit more a straight ahead guy.

“I hope this is just another step in the journey for both kids. If they play each other in an SEC title game, that would be fun. They’re gonna have great careers if they stay healthy.”

Photos by Will Dickey/The Times-Union


  1. Henry was clearly on the bigger and better team… all the gators did was throw Kelvin the ball and he still racked up 222 yards.. anyone who thinks Henry is the better back based on this game is just plain stupid… we all know who will have the better career going forward as a RB.. and that person will be in orange and blue next year..

  2. What a great showing by both backs. Alabama and Florida fans both have something to be really excited about. Henry is a beast and Taylor has a ridiculous stop and go burst in tight spaces. Good game guys and good luck at the next level. An SEC match up in a couple of years (Driskel’s senior year) would be incredible. Can’t wait for you to get to G-ville Kelvin and GO GATORS!!!

  3. Another good article Zach, keep up the good work. I’m very excited to get Taylor in Gainesville. It sounds like Henry is the ideal downhill runner that Muschamp has been wanting. Any reason why we chose to bring in Adam Lane instead? I know Lane is also a fantastic back but is Henry more of Muschamp’s style? I know Henry has said he’s a Gator fan, but did we not have a shot with him?

  4. Dolphe- the way I understand it is when Henry met with the Gator coaching staff they were not impressed with each other. There certainly wasn’t any sparks. I think things cooled real quick after that meeting. I don’t know the specifics and I don’t want to send blame to either side………. I guess it just wan’t meant to be.

  5. ZACH or anyone who would like to answer this….

    Kelvin has committed verbally to UF. I know they’re saying BAMA…in particularly Saban is still going after him. First off, has he reiterated his stance on his commitment? I DVR’d that HS game and came away extremely impressed with the skills and abilities of KT. He’s something we havent had in a long long time. Secondly, What’s this talk about Caleb brantley showing interest in FSU? He’s extremely important with Floyd leaving for the draft!!!!

  6. I know others have said this, but Henry really doesn’t have a future at RB. He gets crazy yards in HS because he is bigger than everybody trying to tackle him. He won’t run over and through people at the next level. Kelvin does his running with vision speed and balance, and enough power to get out of arm tackles. Those are the attributes that lead to success down the line. Henry is going to be a great DE one day, though. Wish he would come to Florida in that capacity.

  7. I was front row at the game on friday night, standing right on the sidelines watching this “Battle of the backs” & anyone that says kelvin Taylor is the “better” running back is out of their mind in my opinion. Yes Taylor is an amazing running back but he is no Derrick Henry and hes far from it. You have the total package with Henry..size, strength & speed..your not bringing him down, as he proved friday night, he will just drag you into the endzone with him. And for the people saying hes not going to be a running back on the college level, theirs no doubt about it he WILL be running the ball & its going to be amazing to see how unstoppable he will be, having Alabamas line blocking for him! I understand that these are all gator fans but to say that you think Kelvin Taylor is a better running back just blows my mind! GO HORNETS! ROLL TIDEE! 🙂

  8. GIRLS…..jessica im sure you mind is blown by shoe sales as well. you see the numbers dont lie, kelvin has more carrer rushing yards than your boy henry [who grew up a gator fan] and see we had our shot at either of these guys and not only picked kelvin, but we also gave our other scolly to adam lane instead of henry. you see what your not thinking about is, saban is lying to this dude, he WILL NOT BE A RUNNING BACK BY HIS SOPHOMORE SEASON…. this gut IS however, a mean DE prospect. congrats

  9. I don’t know Jessica, maybe its because you’re a Yulee and Bama homer. I wouldn’t expect you to be in Taylors camp. But there are recruiting services and scouts who get paid to do this for a living who for the most part all agree that KT is the better talent. I think I value their opinion more than yours. But its nice of you troll on by.

  10. Lets not Bang on Jessica. She may have her Tide goggles on but she isn’t incorrect. Henry will get his shot at RB. The problem is by the time he is a So. for Saban, Big Bo W. will be coming in and is a much more complete back than Henry. He has the size, strength and speed to beat Henry out right today. The backfield will be a loaded position so if he can some how prove he can contribute he will be a RB. If not, Buck LB for sure by his Jr. year. Best of luck to both. Taylor and Lane are going to explode for us next year behind a much bigger OL. If Jones takes the next step in his RB evolution then even better. Thats a three or four deep to rival anybody.

  11. i will say this…for those of you who dont know i play on the same team as bo scarborough. his TRUE 40 time before he got hurt was 4.28 i watched it with my own eyes. he’s a half inch shorter than Derrick. im nowhere near a bama fan but he’s college ready now. there is no way derrick is a running back by the end of his bama carrer

  12. An as you also should kno..the only reason he has more career yards is because they count his 8th grade year unlike Derrick because hes in a private school an you guys can say what you hear all day but I know this for a FACT..what you said about Florida choosing kelvin and not Derrick is wrong! Yes he grew up a gator fan an yes he was interested in them but he decided to turn away from them and look at other options..and you guys can say what you want but that game proved everything it needed to prove. Kelvins scared to get hit an he showed that Friday night by running outa bounds whenever he broke through the hole..you can’t make it too far in college being scared of a hit. If their is one thing I can tell all of you it’s that Derrick Henry WILL run the ball in college an you can bet on that!

  13. If you read Derrick’s fathers twitter comments you can see why UF stopped chasing him. His Dad was cursing like a sailor at ESPN commentators on dozens of tirades, until his account was removed, due to language. Henry has some potential test/grade issues as well, so he needs to do work before going anywhere other than prep school.
    I do think he gets a shot at RB though, then eventually TE perhaps or mostly Fullback. Those stiff arms and arm tackles dont work in the SEC and he is too slow to be a consistent every down back as well.

  14. Jessica, you made some good points in your first post but you lost me in your second post. Too bad, since that means you had credibility and now you don’t. If you want people to listen to you at least make some sense.

  15. Hahahaha… He is scared? I was at the game friday night and I can promise you that Kelvin Taylor did not run scared. Running out of bounds after you bust a big run and get all you can get is called protecting your body and playing smart. Not risking injury or a fumble. I dont know why your trying to discredit this kid because he deserves allt he credit he gets. Yulee is a much better team than glades day and he still managed to rush for 222 yards even with a lack luster O-Line. I coach at a local high school and I have seen Derrick Henry play numerous times. He is the best athlete that I have seen in person at this level. However, he runs over kids right now and he was bigger than anybody on the glades day team. In college you cant just run over 250 pound linebackers or stiff arm everybody in the secondary. He will actually have to use vision and his feet to help him at that level and that has yet to be seen. I wish the best for him and I hope he does great, but Kelvin does have better quickness and vision right now and there is a reason everybody scouting service has Kelvin Taylor ahead of Henry as a running back. Let them swap teams for last friday nights game and see what happens…….

  16. hey did you see all those sacks and tackles Henry made??? or his career defensive stats??? oh right… He has no experience at LB so whos to say he can play it. yes kids make switches all the time but usually they have experience.
    And no one cares whos better right now its a matter of college transition. Henry will have to beat out 4-5 underclassman to play and thats Not including next year when 2 seniors will be ahead of him. good luck with that.

  17. I agree Kent, Henry is a phenomenal athlete, but doesn’t display the skills that will translate to becoming a premier running back in the SEC. Not to say it won’t happen, because he’s only 18 or so and still has a lot of growing to do as a football player, but once he’s at bama he can’t just count on stiff arming 160 lbs. kids like he did friday night. Taylor looks like he could come in right now and go for 4-5 yards a pop playing behind UF’s line. I understand you’re a Henry fan Jessica but you’ve got to be realistic here.

  18. Im not going to sit here and argue with grown men..eveybody has their own opinion! I said right off the bat that kelvin taylor is an amazing running back so im not taking any credit from him and how does my last comment not make any sense? It makes plenty of sense, even if you dont agree with it. This sounds about right to me- http://dev.chuckoliver.net/2012/09/chuckoliver-net-exclusive-analysis-derrick-henry-alabama-vs-kelvin-taylor-florida/ You guys would enjoy reading this article! 🙂

  19. Yea by saying a kid, that is the states all time leading rusher, is “scared to get hit” is defintiely discrediting the kid and also makes absolutely no sense… Just like I said before Henry is the best “Athlete” I have ever seen before at the high school level. He is phenomenal in several aspects. But Henry uses only his shear strength and size to run over kids at the high school level, which he cant do at the college level when kids are actually developed and mature. Right now he is just a man among boys. The kid is a freak and a great high school back, but if you watch his game against Buford last year that aired on ESPN you will see exactly what I’m talking about. Buford has several college caliber kids that shut him down last year until the end of the game when they had the 2nd string in. You can’t say that last fridays game proved anything bc Yulee is obviously a better team than Glades Day and Glades Day’s O&D Lines were outmatched. I think Florida is thrilled to have Kelvin Taylor and we will see who becomes the better back in the next few years…

    It has been said by all of you that they are both great backs. It is impossible to compare them honestly by the game that was played Friday night, because of the different talent levels of the TEAMS. Most of you are forgetting this is a TEAM sport and much of what people say and think of you depends on your TEAMS performance as well. I’m not suggesting one is better than the other especially at this level.
    But for Jessica, that article (link) that you put up was it an Alabama Site??? If so they will be bias, and if you look at his response about recruiting services and they are much more professional now than ever and they all said Taylor was the best RB, Henry the best Athlete. Then he went on to say he disagreed with the professionals. I’m not saying any of you are wrong because they are all OPINIONS.

  21. your exactly right..they are all opinions..and no it was not an Alabama site like this one is a Gainsville site..wouldnt this also be bias? and Kent, didnt you kind of contradict yourself there? you just said that Glades day was out matched by yulee and that yulee was obviously the better team but do you not think that yulee was ALOT more outmatched by Buford and that Buford was deffinately the better team? That is deffinately a contradiction. If Henry would have been playing for Buford then his game would have been completely different. and i dont need to watch the Buford game because i was right there in the stands watching the game. Im sure Florida is thrilled to have Kelvin and i hope he has success, never said he wasnt an amazing back, just said hes not better than Henry. He does not only run over kids hes also amazing at getting to the outside & taking it to the house. The other thing i dont get would be you saying that it is wrong for me to take credit from Taylor while you and some of the others have been taking all Henrys credit. He is an amazing back and will continue to be an AMAZING back in college.

  22. Amazing athlete, not AMAZING back. That’s why he’s listed as an athlete by all the recruiting services, not a running back, even though that’s the only position he plays in high school. I think the recruiting gurus may know a little more than you or I as to how this kid projects as a college player.

  23. Both backs were amazing, and everyone-including Jessica- has valid points. Taylor has great agility and lateral movement. Has a great first step. Henry really impressed me though. He showed good footwork getting throu some traffic, showed power and speed. Just like it is being said that Glades Day was overmatched by Yulee, so was Yulee overmatched by Buford. This year Derrick showed he has gotten his pad level down and hits the hole hard. The boys have two completely different running styles, and both will do great things at running back if they are put into an offense that suites them. Florida is known for using little scat backs, so Kelvin will do fine there. Bamako uses big, physical backs, and Derrick will be a great back there. I noticed the same thing Jessica did though. Kelvin ran out of bounds every chance he got. Don’t know if he was afraid to take a hit or if he just didn’t have the break away speed that Henry showed that he has.

  24. Kelvin is the bomb.

    My wife was right about Gilissee the last few years. He is really good. Cheeseburger Charlie had his head up his Humongous glutamus. If Driskel keeps developing maybe Weiss will try to get Brisett to transfer to KU. We need to bring in a great QB for the future. Jones and Brown look like they are developing at RB and with KELVIN and A Lane coming in we are in pretty good shape there.

    Champ, Quinn, B YOung and the crew will find and bring in the Defnsive players.

    Gotta get OL and receivers! Explosive receivers.

  25. By the way to stray a bit from purely recruiting.

    Weiss was the inspiration for the Cheeburger skits on SNL. He was actully in a place in NY and ordered a Cheesburer, a cheesburger, cheeburger, cheeburger, cheeburger and anonther cheeburger and Lorne Michaels was there.

    And the root of the – “no coke, Pepsi?” part of the skits.

    Weiss sat on the cooler with the cokes and that was that.

  26. Hey Zack-If Henry is a self proclaimed life-long Gator fan, then WHY THE HECK is he going to Bama?!!? That makes no FREEKIN’ sense!!! If I was a life-long fan of a school I’m going there REGARDLESS of what anyone else says so what is his problem?!? Sounds to me like he’s scared of competition and wants a job handed to him because he’s bigger than everyone else. Well that’s not gonna fly in the SEC. Because he’s so big he’ll be an easy target & will not last long as a RB, just like Eddie George. History suggests that big, tall backs don’t last long. Still-if you’re a Gator fan as you proclaim, Mr. Henry-shouldn’t it be easy to pull the trigger for UF?!?! What’s really goin’ on dude?!? LSU STILL suxxxx-GO GATORS 24-21!!!

  27. I have been critical of Henry as a running back prospect, but one thing you can’t say is that he is going to bama b/c he is scared of competition at UF. They have so many backs that will be there next year, it would be hard for anyone to come in and get the majority of the carries. This is another reason I don’t think he will end up at rb once he’s there. However, I would also like to know what happened between Henry and UF, and why there didn’t seem to be more mutual interest there.

  28. What in the H### is up with all of these bammers coming on our website lately???

    I don’t understand why these retards feel the need to come here and troll. Man we have to deal with enough crap from EMK and some other DA’s that bag on Muschamp.

    With all due respect Bama fans……Please F off.

  29. Wouldn’t it really be something should Henry at the last minute decided to come to Fla, if Fla still wanted him. I am so sick of all the talk about Alabama. I do not hate the school, I hate Saban. I think he is totally SLIME. I DO NOT SEE WHAT ANY OF THE YOUNG MEN AND THEIR PARENTS SEE IN HIM. I liked Mike Shula and think highly of Mark Richt and Les Miles and of couse Spurrier, but Saban H— No. Go Gators.

  30. Zach, Thanks for all the hard work you put in and the great interviews with our 2012 commits.After watching most of them, I couldn’t be more impressed with the caliber of young men that coach Muschamp is recruiting to UF. So many of todays 4 or 5 star players are full of themselves and have the “look at me” / punk attitude that translates into run-ins with the police and suspensions at the next level ( see GA this year or us under UM). It is obvious to me that coach M is not only recruiting great athletes, but real character kids as well. The interviews with Washington, Powell, Ivie, etc
    show kids that are humble, coachable and thankful for their God given talents. Can’t help but be excited about the future in titletown after watching those interviews and proud of the type of players that are coming to Gainesville next year. Coach “BOOM” certainly has things steamrolling in the right direction. Is it just me or could Powell and Washington be twins?
    Nothing Greater than a GATOR!

  31. heres my opinion:
    Taylors is the better pure running back. if i had to choose between the two, he would be my choice. but also, henry would be a terrific complement to taylor, almost like an upgraded matt jones. i for 1 respect jessica for expressing her opinions. will henry become a prolific rb for bama…..i doubt it. but he would better than any of their other running backs in short yardage situations.
    Oh and btw, 4 of henry’s 6 touchdowns came from the wildcat position, not running back. just a point to go along with the fact that he’s the better ATH, not RB.

  32. Jessica,
    It’s me again, you sound angry and I can see why. But you come on a Gator site to hype a kid that’s headed to BAMA and discredit (in a way) the prize RB that’s headed to UF and you get bashed for doing so and you get angry? Listen if you read my post without the anger, you would see that I meant you no harm, just trying to express my OPINION. You mentioned that the article you (linked) put out was not a BAMA site, and mentioned that this was a Gainesville site and associated Bias with Zach’s article. Please go back and READ his article,I think Zach does a pretty good job of stating the TRUTH without much bias. You expect some Bias, the man lives, breaths and eats Gator football. But where is that LINK from? Don’t be offended when people don’t agree with your opinion, especially on this site. GO GATORS!!!!

  33. The Henry kid is a beast and a phenomenal talent and we would love to have him in orange and blue, but I can understand how you can grow up a gator fan and still not be a right fit with the current coaching staff. Same thing happened to me back in the late 70’s. Coach Dickey and I did not really mesh during my visits and I never got a offer from UF. I was so heartbroken that I turned down offers from many other D1 schools
    and just went to work doing construction after high school. ( a decision I have regretted all my life ). At least the kid has moved on and apparently decided that Bama works for him. I wish him the best and hope he has continued success there (except when they play us of course!) No need to trash talk the young man, he has shown class by the tweets that he sent to KT and statements to the media. We will be more than fine with KT and Adam Lane pounding the rock!
    Nothing greater than a GATOR!

  34. Jess, The artical you posted is from a HACK, a freelance blogger. Besides I don’t think Henry will every play a snap for a major college at any position. From what I understand he’s not all there and is going to have real trouble making the grades.

  35. I understand that this is a gator website & i understand why all of you would say the things you say..im not offended at all. Just like you said, my opinions are my opinions just like yours are yours. I never got on here to stir anything up..i never bashed florida or anything like that & for those of you who said im a “Bama homer” WRONGG!! Im a Hurricane til i die!! Ijust stated my opinion like you guys were doing. The only thing that offended me was the “GIRLS” comment. Ive been a coaches daughter all my life an football has pretty much been my whole life since i can remember so yes, making a comment pretty much saying that because im a girl i dont know what im talking about does offend me. & to those of you saying that Derrick isnt “all there” & has grade issues..your very wrong there..hes ALWAYS had AB honor roll & still does & he also shined on his ACT’s, he has nooo problems with his grades. Remember guys, you cant always believe everything you read on these blogs. But im done here, i see ive caused enough trouble just by stating my opinion..I know hes a true running back & hes gona shine..hes just gona have to prove you doubters wrong & i know he will 🙂 have a wonderful night everyone!

  36. Must be tough being a cane fan. I think they’re about to have it handed to them by the NCAA. Also heard they just lost their AD. I’d probably read other schools websites and root for bama as well. Nah, but I do love the discussion and passion you’ve brought out of everyone. Agree that bashing a kid is low, but you’ll always get that kind of stuff. GO GATORS!

  37. If you haven’t already had a chance to do so, watch the interviews that Zman has on this website with many of the 2012
    Gator commits and I guarantee that you will come away impressed with the quality of young men that coach Muschamp is targeting.
    Hardly any “I” or “ME”comments from any of them. They are all respectful, team oriented and great attitude in spite of their
    obvious talents. Great job Zach, The future is bright in hogtown boys!I think the “mad hatter” and Lucky State University’s luck
    is going to run dry around 3:30 tommorow afternoon! Work’em silly Gators!
    Nothin greater than a GATOR!

  38. Jessica,

    Like I said, we will see how it turns out in a couple years. By the way, no that wasn’t a contradiction. I was merely stating that it is the same situation that Kelvin Taylor was in and yet Kelvin was not shut down at all by going for over 200 yards rushing and I was also showing that when faced against college level talent at Buford Henry’s “run you over style” wasn’t able to work as well. He is going to be a great college player I am sure and it may be at RB, I just think that Taylor is the more pure RB and the rest will sort itself out. And not one time have I took credit from him Jessica I even said he was the best athlete I have ever saw in person, I just dont think he projects to college as well as Taylor. Thats not discrediting him form what he has done in high school though at all. And Thomas, I’m pretty sure Kelvin wasn’t scared of a hit, he took plenty of them all night as his line was getting ran through… Take a look at the touchdown drive and let me know if he was scared to take a hit…