So many ridiculous numbers are tied to running back Derrick Henry, the main author of the Titans’ unlikely run to the 2019 AFC championship game. In Tennessee’s surprising loss in the playoffs to New England and Baltimore, the player from The 26-year-old became the first player with at least 180 rushing yards in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.
However, no matter what he achieves on a professional level, he could always be better known for how absurd his high school football career was.
MORE: How Henry Dominates In Front Of Stacked Boxes
Many have rated Henry the greatest running back in high school football history based on anecdotal evidence, such as the funny image of his attack through teenage opponents like the Incredible Hulk through a crowd of civilians. But the legend is rooted in fact.
In November 2012, Henry, then a senior at Yulee High School Outside of Jacksonville, Florida, he broke the national record for rushing yards in high school. He did it on a 52-yard touchdown run during a playoff game in which he recorded 482 yards and 6 touchdowns on 58 carries.
“Breaking this record means a lot to me,” said Henry, who at the time had already chosen Alabama over Georgia and Tennessee as his college destination, told ESPN. “I’m glad I can share it with my coaches, my teammates and all of Yulee. They all helped me get to this point. I don’t think it will really hit me until I’m done with football.”
The record that Henry broke, Ken Hall’s 11,232 yards for Sugar Land High School in Texas in the early 1950s, had stood for 51 years.
Of course, Henry’s 482 yards in that playoff game weren’t even the best total of his senior season.
Derrick Henry High School Statistics
The clearest evidence of Henry’s dominance in high school is the collection of staggering statistics he produced over four years at Yulee.
Below is a year-by-year breakdown of Henry’s rushing totals in high school, followed by his career numbers.
(All stats via Maximum preparations)
|Rushing yards per game||224.1|
|Yards per rush||7.88|
|Rushing yards per game||232.3|
|Yards per rush||8.91|
|Rushing yards per game||217.5|
|Yards per rush||8.45|
|Hasty touchdowns||3. 4|
|Rushing yards per game||327.8|
|Yards per rush||9.22|
|Rushing yards per game||252.6|
|Yards per rush||8.7|
That senior season is something to behold.
In 2015, Bleacher Report’s Adam Kramer tweeted Henry’s 2012 totals. Beyond the aforementioned absurd playoff game against Taylor County, it includes a 510-yard night against Jacksonville Jackson, a state record for Florida.
Derrick Henry High School Highlights
Sit back, relax, and laugh hysterically as you watch Henry embarrass rival players in high school.
Some may consider this video to be NSFW.
Henry was still in high school when Bobby Ramsay took over as Yulee’s head soccer coach in 2008, his first such role after years as an assistant at nearby First Coast High School. Ramsay assumed a rough journey awaited him as the leader of a show that had struggled to collect wins; the Hornets went 2-8 in 2007.
“I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ ” Ramsay said. TitansOnline.com in 2016. “We were bad. My running back coach kept telling me to hang on, that there was a kid, Derrick, in high school. And I was like, ‘We’re about to go 0-10 And there’s a cute little 8th grader in high school who am I supposed to get excited about? I’ve never seen Derrick. “
Soon after, of course, Ramsay saw the high school version of Henry for the first time: “Suddenly out of this group is this towering kid. I always compare him to a stock that has a good month on a chart. He was. very, very above the rest. “
Cole Willis, who played basketball against Henry in high school, gave Yahoo! sports an estimate of 6-2 and “at least” 215 pounds when asked about Henry’s size at that age. Ramsey, however, said Henry weighed 205 pounds as a high school freshman and slightly taller at 6-3.
Needless to say, the exact measurements were irrelevant.
“From the beginning of every game that we played from his ninth grade onwards, he was probably the best soccer player on the field in all the games that he played during high school, and that’s even in ninth grade,” Ramsay said. As a coach, it was like having a big comfortable chair to rest in wherever he went because he knew that he would always have this guy who would produce 200 and 300 yards and four to six touchdowns a game. “
Yahoo! I recently spoke with a handful of former high school athletes who competed against Henry at that level. (The full article is worth your time.) Below are some examples of what was a similar experience for everyone who faced it, including rival coaches.
– Dalton Delano, linebacker, West Nassau High School: “It was almost like a machine … You just walk in there, get run over and accept your fate.”
– Michael Dudzinski, linebacker, West Nassau High School: “It felt like you were boarding a big four-wheeler. … Usually when you face someone, they don’t hurt you. Tackling it hurt. … Everyone was really sore after the game. “
– Travis Hodge, head coach, Fernandina Beach High School: “If you put him right on the line of scrimmage, or behind the line of scrimmage, (the players) would be more aggressive. But the kids knew it, when it came to the second level, and it was you and him – all of a sudden, they might stumble, or take a (bad) angle, or waste their time. They’d make a decision: I have a date with my girlfriend tomorrow. I don’t. I don’t want to get hurt. “
– James Thomson, Head Coach, Gainesville High School: “As a coach, I don’t fall in love with the players. I’m never really dazzled. But with Henry? I remember, clearly, saying to him after the game: ‘You’re going to win a Heisman ‘”.
When Henry was in his senior year, according to The Washington Post, was able to bench press 365 pounds, jerk 315 pounds, squat 500 pounds, and deadlift 550 pounds. He ran a 4.5-second, 40-yard dash.
Those numbers, combined with his game tape, led to Henry being recruited by a slew of colleges. After initially committing to Georgia, he ultimately chose Alabama over top choices Tennessee, Florida, Clemson, Miami, Notre Dame, USC, and Florida State.
All he did with the Crimson Tide was win the Heisman Trophy, Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Award, as well as Walter Camp Player of the Year in 2015. He also helped ‘Bama win a national title that year, his youth campaign.
“I’ve always been grateful to Derrick for allowing me to do a lot of things that I would never have done if I hadn’t trained him,” Ramsay said. (Ramsey left yulee in 2017 for the head coach job at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville). “Not only was I able to coach him in high school, but also to be able to go to the Heisman and then see him drafted and watch him in Alabama and see him in the NFL is so much fun.
“As for Derrick, he was always just one of the guys when he was here. Obviously, he physically stood out and was the guy at the forefront, but he was a leader and one of the guys. And he sure made his mark here.”
Henry’s bio page On the Alabama soccer site, below are additional achievements and stats that put into perspective just how dominant he was at Yulee.
- Rated a five-star prospect by ESPN, 247sports and Scout.com
- The nation’s No. 1 athlete and No. 4 prospective running back
- Member of the 2012 football team, chosen by USA Today
- 2012 Maxwell Football Club National High School Player of the Year
- Parade Magazine All-American and the publication’s National Player of the Year
- MaxPreps National Player of the Year and First Team All-American
- Ranks fifth all-time with 153 rushing touchdowns in high school
- 2012 All-State First Team Selection by Associated Press and was All-First Coast Team Player of the Year
- 2012 Columbus (Ohio) Touchdown Club National High School Player of the Year
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.