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Michigan State's defensive staff explains why they're having trouble preparing for Heisman winner Derrick Henry


Alabama's Derrick Henry is in a mold by himself as far as running backs go.

Standing 6'3 and weighing in at 245 pounds, Henry has a unique blend of size, speed and power that you rarely see from a guy at his position, which is precisely why Michigan State is having so much trouble imitating him on their scout team in preparation of their Cotton Bowl match up.

Co-defensive coordinators Mike Tressel and Harlon Barnett have used a number of different players on the scout team to try and duplicate what they'll see from the Heisman winner on New Years Eve, including a number of linebackers.

"How do you prepare them to tackle Derrick Henry? It's hard to simulate." Tressel told

"We're trying to figure out who's our scout team tailback almost on a daily basis. We've had almost three weeks to prepare, and it's like, well, why don't we try Matt Sokol, a tight end? Why don't we try Kenny Willekes, who's a linebacker?"

The Spartans even turned to a 6-foot-5, 250 pound backup tight end to try and imitate Henry, but Tressel says the bottom line is regardless of who lines up as the deep back on the scout team, there's no simulating Henry.

"But you can't simulate. We've never had a Heisman Trophy winner in the history of Michigan State. How do we simulate that? But we look forward to the challenge."

Read the full piece here.