In his three years with the Alabama football program, Derrick Henry was not paid a cent.
While he is a millionaire running back with the Tennessee Titans, Derrick Henry let it be known that he absolutely played for free as a member of Nick Saban’s Alabama football team.
Henry appeared on his Titans teammates Taylor Lewan and Will Compton’s Bussin’ With The Boys podcast. When Compton and Lewan joked about Henry being paid to play at Alabama, the All-Pro running back offered this hilarious response. “I got paid nothing,” said Henry. “They paid me in rings, baby. You feel what I’m saying? … I got paid in rings, homie.”
Derrick Henry’s junior season at Alabama was the stuff of legend
As a junior at Alabama in 2015, Henry came out of nowhere to win the Heisman Trophy. He rushed for 2,219 yards on 395 carries for 28 touchdowns. Alabama went on to defeat the Clemson Tigers in the national championship. Henry parlayed that magical college season into being a second-round pick by the Titans in 2016. Five years later, he is on a Pro Football Hall of Fame trajectory.
As Compton, Henry and Lewan ventured down memory lane, the Titans running back brought up that his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa did end in heartbreak. People tend to forget that but he was part of two crushing losses in college: The 2013 Iron Bowl vs. the arch rival Auburn Tigers and the 2015 Sugar Bowl vs. the Big Ten Champion Ohio State Buckeyes.
“You know what’s so funny? My first two years there, we didn’t even win a national championship,” said Henry. “My freshman year was Kick Six. Let’s not talk about it. Then my sophomore year, we won the SEC Championship but lost in the playoffs against Ohio State. That was with Zeke [Elliott], Cardale [Jones], and all them.”
“In my third year, I was like, ‘You know what? This is the year I’m starting. If we’re going to win, put it all on me.’ Then what happened? Took home the Heisman. Took home the Doak Walker. Took home the Walter Camp. I took home the Maxwell. And I took home a ring.”
Henry may have only been paid in rings in college, but he is certainly doing well for himself now.