The Prospector: On day full of chaos, Derrick Henry chats about decommitment from Georgia

Derrick Henry, Yulee

Derrick Henry, Yulee (CHRIS HAYS / ORLANDO SENTINEL / June 14, 2012)

It would be understandable if Derrick Henry did not answer his phone on Wednesday, or even if he decided not to return any phone messages or text messages or posts on Twitter or Facebook or even notes sent by carrier pigeon (My guess is that would be considered anti-social media).

Henry, a 6-foot-3, 241-pound specimen of a running back at Yulee High, decommitted form his original pledge to attend the University of Georgia in a statement released through his coach Bobby Ramsey on Wednesday.

Yet there he was, answering his cell phone when I rang him Wednesday evening. I was fully expecting to hear his usual voicemail intro, "Shocka, Shocka Flav ... ," a nod to his Shocka nickname he gained a few years ago from his teammates, but to my amazement there he was picking up on the other end.

And even though his coach had already released his statement to the media earlier in the day and even though he said he really had nothing more to add to what was already out there, he still took time to add a little more to everything that was already out there.

Most importantly, anyone who thinks that his UGa decommit was a direct result of his visit to Alabama last week, Henry says, is mistaken.

"No no, not at all," Henry said. "I just decided this week that this is something that is best for me at this time."

Not that he didn't enjoy his trip to Tuscaloosa.

"Oh it went really well," Henry said. "It's the first time we were able to get on campus over there and it was nice."

But he has no favorites or top fives, or anything like that. He has no timeframe, either. He does know one thing. His decision will come before National Signing Day simply because he'll be graduating early.

"Right now I'm just trying to get focused on the season and we'll talk about all that other stuff later," Henry said. "I'm just going to be taking my time. I don't want to rush into anything.

"Life is too short to be rushing into it and I just want to take it a day at a time and go through high school and then worry about getting to the college level. God has a plan."

Henry has put up amazing numbers since becoming a varsity starter his freshman year. He probably could have started as a sixth grader if they had let him. When I first saw him in 2009 I thought he was a senior.

So far, the numbers are something of legend. He has 7,873 rushing yards in three seasons. He has 99 touchdowns. That's 33 TDs and 2,600-plus yards per season.

The Yulee Mule, as they call him, has also amazed people on the combine circuit. His physical presence alone is enough to leave bystanders with jaws agape. His chiseled frame, however, is not just for looks.

The man-child has recorded Nike SPARQ measurements of 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 4.15 seconds in the 5-10-5-yard shuttle run, 40-plus inches on the vertical leap pad and 40-plus feet on the power ball toss.

As for the future, Henry says he currently only has plans to take part in Nike's The Opening event at the swoosh headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., at the end of July.

With his recruiting opening up, the spectrum of possibilities will broaden. Lane Kiffen hasn't even sent his goons out to sniff around yet. Rest assured, he will, as will others. Some don't know exactly what to do with a running back with the size that Henry has. FSU already has a guy like that in James Wilder.

You gotta figure Henry is going to get bigger. MUCH bigger.

Rumors have swirled that Coach Saban has suggested linebacker is the ticket to the NFL for the Shocka. Henry refutes the rumors.

"There are a lot of rumors out there," wrote Henry in a return text message reply to a question about that specific rumor on Thursday. "I'm RB all the way."

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