The Vanderbilt offense took a big hit on Wednesday. Keyon Henry-Brooks, the team’s top running back, announced he was entering the transfer portal.
He made that announcement via a tweet, which read:
“First I’d like to thank God and Coach Mason for giving me the opportunity to play the sport I love at the college level. I’d also like to thank the Vanderbilt family for welcoming me with open arms,” Henry-Brooks shared. “But after talking it over with my family and those close to me, I’ve decided I will be entering the transfer portal. Thank you and God bless.”
— Keyon Henry-Brooks (@keyonbrooks_29) February 24, 2021
The first thing a lot of people are going to do with this news is check his stats.
The 6-foot-1, 208-pound junior totaled 752 yards (494 rushing, 258 receiving) and two touchdowns. Nothing spectacular, right? Well, he did that in only six games. That means he averaged 125 yards from scrimmage.
When you throw on the tape, you can clearly see that he’s an impact player.
Since the news broke, there has been speculation that Henry-Brooks could follow Derek Mason to Auburn. His former head coach is now the defensive coordinator on The Plains, so that does make sense. But is it the correct fit for the talented rusher?
Yes, the Tigers have lost some depth at the running back position. Mark Antony-Richards is following Gus Malzahn to UCF, Harold Joiner has left for Michigan State, and D.J. Williams is now at Florida State.
Auburn is still in good shape at the position, though.
Tank Bigsby was a freshman sensation and should work his way into a larger role in his second season. It’s possible that he could even compete for a Heisman Trophy in 2021. To back him up, there’s the perfect change-of-pace back in Shaun Shivers.
There may be a need for more depth, but Henry-Brooks isn’t depth. He’s a guy who can — and should — start for a lot of programs. There’s no doubt that he would earn opportunities in Auburn’s offense, but it wouldn’t be the sort of workload he deserves.
If he does land with Bryan Harsin’s squad, it would be a home run for the Tigers. I’m just not entirely sure it makes sense at this point in his career.
Time will tell.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.