- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
North Little Rock, Ark., running back Altee Tenpenny didn’t have to travel very far to watch Alabama play this weekend. The UA commitment made the short drive to Fayetteville where he saw the Crimson Tide dominate Arkansas, 52-0.
“I had fun going up there,” Tenpenny said. “I enjoyed seeing it. I took some of my teammates up there, and they enjoyed it as well. It was a great atmosphere, and I enjoyed watching the game.
“[Alabama] looked great, all four quarters, in every aspect of the game, special teams, offense and defense. It was good to see them play in person.”
Tenpenny is one of two running backs committed in the Tide’s class, and there’s a possibility they add at least one more. However, the ESPN 150 star knows he will get his opportunities with the way Alabama has distributed carries in the backfield this year.
The strategy continued on Saturday as five different backs touched the rock.
“It was good,” Tenpenny said. “Each person gets in the game. Everybody gets to touch the ball. Everybody gets a chance to show what they can do on the field.”
After the game, Tenpenny talked with UA assistant coach Mike Groh, his recruiting coordinator, about the game and his visit. Although he says his commitment remains solid, the Arkansas native plans to take visits to Oklahoma State and possibly Georgia.
On Friday night, Tenpenny showed why he is such a coveted prospect. The 6-foot, 212-pound running back rushed for 161 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries in just the first half. It was his best game since coming off a serious leg injury a year ago.
“It’s great just to come back from the injury and run the ball like that,” he said.
Tenpenny had a little extra motivation for the game as Alabama running backs coach Burton Burns was on the sideline to watch the future Tide star.
“It means a lot to see him on the sideline,” Tenpenny said. “It makes me play harder and helps me be more focused. I just wanted to put on a good performance to let him know that next year he has a great back coming.”
3hDerek Tyson and Tom VanHaaren
2dMark Schlabach and Sharon Katz