NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy last season. **
He did it by running through and around tacklers at the University of Alabama. In a record-breaking season, he racked up 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns while guiding the Crimson Tide to the national championship.
But that didn't earn him a first-round selection in the NFL Draft. Henry lasted all the way until the 45th pick of the second round until he was snatched up by the Tennessee Titans.
Henry said he learned patience while waiting for his name to be called. The experience also gave him something to remember as he embarks on his NFL career.
Henry called it "fuel to the fire" and said it will motivate him. In some ways, Henry feels like he has to prove himself all over again.
"Obviously you want to go in the first round, but to play in the NFL has been my dream since I was a little kid,'' Henry said. "It is a blessing and a surreal moment and I am so excited to be a part of the Titans organization. I am glad they picked me to make my dream come true.
The Titans select Alabama RB Derrick Henry in the second round (45th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. (AP Photos)
"I definitely will remember this feeling, and what it feels like. I am just ready to get to work … and help the Titans win games, and help them win a Super Bowl."
The Titans now have a powerful one-two punch with Murray and Henry, who's 6-2 ½, 247 pounds.
Earlier this offseason, the team traded for veteran running back DeMarco Murray, who won the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year award in 2014 with the Cowboys. Murray played last season with the Eagles.
The Titans welcomed Henry into the fold on Friday night, and said they plan to use them both.
"He's a good football player, and I think that was evident in winning the Heisman Trophy,'' general manager Jon Robinson said of Henry. "He is big, he is physical, he is fast, and plays the kind of football we want to play. He is tough, he is accountable and he is going to embody everything we are about as a Titan."
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said the team plans to use both players, possibly in the backfield at the same time.
"I think we have a good group of backs,'' Mularkey said. "Now we have a very competitive position, maybe one of the more competitive positions on the field. There will be a rhyme and reason why we are doing things with both of them at times. … It is a really nice thing to have."
Added Robinson: "We have two workhorse running backs now."
The Titans also now have back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners in the backfield after selecting quarterback Marcus Mariota from Oregon a year ago.
Henry said he's ready to come in and compete. Murray sent out a message via Twitter on Friday night welcoming Henry to the family. In three seasons at Alabama, Henry ran for 3,591 yards and 42 touchdowns.
"DeMarco is a great back, and has had great success,'' Henry said. "I am just going to learn from him and compete every day to make each other better."