Calhoun: Derrick Henry 'definitely' tougher to face than Ezekiel Elliott
In two of his final three games at Michigan State, Shilique Calhoun faced arguably the two best running back prospects in the country.
The first of which was against Ezekiel Elliott, which of course was the game in which he infamously got 12 carries and was held to 33 yards in MSU’s victory.
The second was in the Sugar Bowl against Derrick Henry, who was held to just 75 yards by Calhoun and the Spartans, but it was in a 38-0 drubbing. Henry still got into the end zone twice and proved to be a physical force down the stretch.
So naturally, when Calhoun was asked about which running back was tougher to face, he went with the Heisman Trophy winner.
“I would say definitely Derrick Henry,” Calhoun told AL.com at the NFL combine. “He’s a bigger guy. He did a great job of falling forward. Pretty much on all of his runs, somehow, some way, he found a way to fall forward. Of course, he’s a bigger guy. I mean, we’re pretty much the same weight and the height.”
Calhoun learned about Henry’s strength all too well. He was the unfortunate victim of a vicious Henry stiff arm in the fourth quarter.
Calhoun remembered that play.
“He made a great play, big guy,” Calhoun said Friday. “He’s a pretty good tailback. Obviously he didn’t win the Heisman for no apparent reason. He is able to make big plays in big-time situations.”
Henry, however, will likely be drafted after Elliott, who only helped himself with his combine performance on Friday. Elliott ran a slightly better 40-yard dash (4.47 to 4.54) but Henry did have the advantage in the broad and high jump.
Elliott projects more as a three-down back while there are questions about Henry’s abilities as a horizontal runner and in the passing game.
Both will likely get plenty of chances to prove who the better pro is.