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Kenyan Drake Wants To Prove He Can Be Do-It-All Player

Posted Feb 19, 2016

When healthy, Alabama running back Kenyan Drake has proven to be a player capable of contributing in the running game, passing game and as a returner.

When healthy, Alabama running back Kenyan Drake has proven to be a player capable of contributing in the running game, passing game and as a returner.

Between injuries and playing alongside the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and two other running backs that are now leading the way in NFL backfields, Kenyan Drake didn’t get as much of a chance to showcase his skills as he would have liked to during his four-year career at the University of Alabama.  

During his 42 appearances spanning four seasons, Drake, who shared time with Derrick Henry, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, recorded 233 rushing attempts for 1,495 yards and 18 touchdowns along with 46 receptions for 570 yards and four touchdowns.

During his sophomore season in 2013, Drake recorded back-to-back 100-yard games against Kentucky and Arkansas. His senior year got off to a strong start when he tallied 100-plus offensive yards in each of the first two games.

Drake’s versatility was also on full display in the National Championship Game in January, as he took back a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter in Alabama’s victory over Clemson.

While he was often the most explosive running back in the Crimson Tide’s backfield, Drake’s last two seasons were plagued by injury.

In 2014, Drake suffered a season-ending dislocated ankle. His 2015 season was affected by a broken arm that forced him to miss two games.

But after accepting an invitation to last month’s Senior Bowl and showing flashes of his talent by rushing for 23 yards on two carries and seven catches for 24 yards and a touchdown, Drake believes he’s fully healthy heading into the next stage of NFL preparation: the combine and his Pro Day.

“Yeah exactly, having great surgeons, a great rehab staff to get me back to full speed or better than I was before, it’s a blessing,” Drake told NFL.com. “And I’m glad I chose Alabama to give me the opportunity that if I was in that situation, that I came out on the best end of it. So it gave me the opportunity to come out here, and like I keep reiterating, coming out here and being among great players around the country and you know, I’m just humbled to have that opportunity.”

One of the most important aspects of Drake’s inclusion in the Senior Bowl was showing he can be a reliable running back in several different situations.

And while the Redskins have yet to decide how their backfield will come together – Alfred Morris and Pierre Thomas are both pending unrestricted free agents while Chris Thompson is a restricted free agent – Washington could be one of the teams that take a running back at some point in the draft.

“They just want to know if I can come out here and be an every down back, first down, second down, third down protection, come out of the backfield, catch the ball out of the backfield, so that’s just what I’m trying to do,” Drake said. “Come out here and develop my skills and become a better player every day.”

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