Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, a former Alabama standout, might be Ryan Tannehill’s best friend.
Henry has led the NFL in rushing yards the last two seasons (including rushing for an insane 2,207 yards in 2020). That undoubtedly makes Tannehill’s job as the Titans’ quarterback a lot easier.
Any quarterback at any level would love to have a weapon like Henry.
Is it possible that the Tennessee Vols have a similar player on their roster?
Maybe. At least according to redshirt sophomore quarterback Brian Maurer.
“I spent two years handing it to Eric [Gray] and Ty [Chandler], and they’re like 5-10, 5-11, and you get used to that,” said Maurer on Tuesday while speaking to reporters. “Then you look over and you’re handing it to Derrick Henry Jr, and you’re like, whoa.”
Maurer was referring to redshirt freshman running back Dee Beckwith, a 6-foot-5/227 lb Alabama native.
Beckwith looks more like a tight end or an outside linebacker than a running back. But the Tennessee coaching staff clearly like Beckwith at running back. And so does Maurer.
Jabari Small is the Vols’ returning leading rusher, though he only totaled 117 rushing yards in 2020. In other words, Tennessee’s running back depth chart is wide open, which means Beckwith should have plenty of opportunities to prove that he’s the next Derrick Henry.
And if Beckwith gets anywhere close to that level of play, the Vols’ running game is going to be incredibly difficult for opposing SEC defensive coordinators to handle.
Featured image via Saul Young/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services/Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services