Derrick Henry

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Derrick Henry
refer to caption
Henry with the Tennessee Titans in 2018
No. 22 – Tennessee Titans
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1994-01-04) January 4, 1994 (age 25)
Yulee, Florida
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school:Yulee (FL)
College:Alabama
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Rushing yards:2,293
Rushing average:4.6
Rushing touchdowns:22
Receptions:38
Receiving yards:372
Receiving touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com

Derrick Lamar Henry Jr.[1][2] (born January 4, 1994) is an American football running back for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Titans. In December 2015, he broke Herschel Walker's single-season college rushing yards record in the SEC. He won the 2015 Heisman Trophy, as well as the Doak Walker Award, the Maxwell Award, and the Walter Camp Award. Henry holds the national high school football record for career rushing yards.

Early years[edit]

Henry attended Yulee High School in Yulee, Florida, where he was a three-sport star in football, basketball, and track. He played as a running back for the Yulee Hornets football team.[3] He ran for 2,465 yards and 26 touchdowns as a freshman in 2009. He was named a first-team All-Coast at running back in 2010 after rushing for 2,788 yards and 38 touchdowns while averaging 8.9 yards per attempt. He rushed for 2,610 yards and 34 scores as a junior in 2011 to earn first-team All-Coast honors from the Florida Times-Union. He set the Florida high school record with a 510-yard performance against Jacksonville Jackson and averaged 9.2 yards per carry and 327.8 yards per game as a senior, finishing the season with a state-record 4,261 yards and 55 touchdowns.[4] He finished his high school football career with 12,124 career rushing yards, which broke Ken Hall's career record.[5][6] He also rushed for 153 career touchdowns. He played for the East squad in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, where he rushed for 53 yards with a touchdown and a two-point conversion.[7][8]

As a track & field athlete, Henry competed as a sprinter at Yulee from 2010 to 2011. He posted a personal-best time of 11.11 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the 2011 FHSAA 2A District 3 Championships, where he placed seventh.[9] He was also a member of the 4×100 and 4×400 squads.[10]

Considered a five-star recruit by ESPN.com, Henry was listed as the No. 1 athlete (player with no designated position) in the nation in 2013.[11] After originally committing to the University of Georgia, Henry committed to the University of Alabama on September 28, 2012.[12] His number was eventually retired by Yulee.

High school statistics[edit]

Derrick Henry Rushing
Year Team GP Att Yds Avg Yds/G Lng TD
2009 Yulee 11 313 2,465 7.9 224.1 26
2010 Yulee 12 313 2,788 8.9 232.3 75 38
2011 Yulee 12 309 2,610 8.4 217.5 90 34
2012 Yulee 13 462 4,261 9.2 327.8 80 55
Career 48 1,397 12,124 8.7 252.6 90 153

College career[edit]

Henry attended and played college football for the University of Alabama from 2013 to 2015.[13] He majored in Communications. He graduated on May 4, 2018.[14] That same day, he published an article in The Players' Tribune thanking his late grandmother for the inspiration to continue pursuing his degree.[14][15]

2013 season[edit]

Henry (No. 2) at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2013

As a true freshman in 2013, Henry rushed for 382 yards on 36 carries with three touchdowns.[16] On October 19, against Arkansas, he had 111 rushing yards and his first collegiate rushing touchdown in the 52–0 victory.[17] On November 23, against Chattanooga, he had six carries for 66 yards and his second rushing touchdown of the season.[18] During the 2014 Sugar Bowl, he rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and had a 61-yard touchdown reception in the 45–31 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners.[19][20] In that game, Spanish-language broadcaster Pablo Viruega nicknamed him "El Tractorcito" (The Little Tractor) due to his long stride and powerful gait on ESPN Deportes. The nickname became a popular internet meme.[21]

2014 season[edit]

In the 2014 season, Henry shared time in the backfield with T. J. Yeldon. In the season opener against West Virginia, he had 113 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.[22] On September 20, against Florida, he had 111 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.[23] On October 18 against Texas A&M, he had 70 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and a 41-yard receiving touchdown.[24] In the following game against Tennessee at Neyland Stadium, he had 78 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.[25] On November 22, against Western Carolina, he had 92 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and a nine-yard receiving touchdown.[26] In the annual rivalry game against Auburn, he had 72 rushing yards and a touchdown in the high-scoring 55–44 installment of the rivalry.[27] In the SEC Championship against Missouri, he had 141 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the victory.[28] Alabama qualified for the College Football Playoff and faced off against Ohio State in the National Semifinals in the Sugar Bowl.[29] Henry had 95 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and two receptions for 54 yards as Alabama fell 42–35 to the Buckeyes.[30] In his sophomore year, Henry rushed for 990 yards on 172 carries with 11 touchdowns.[31]

2015 season[edit]

After Yeldon left for the NFL, Henry took over as the starting running back as a junior in 2015. In the season opener against Wisconsin, he had 147 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.[32] In the next game, against Middle Tennessee State, he had 96 rushing yards and another game with three rushing touchdowns.[33] In the next game against Ole Miss, he had 127 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and five receptions for 39 yards in Alabama's only loss of the season.[34] After rushing for 52 yards against Louisiana–Monroe, he had 148 rushing yards and a touchdown in a victory over Georgia.[35][36] On October 10, he rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown against Arkansas.[37] After the victory over the Razorbacks, he went on an impressive stretch of performances. On October 17, against Texas A&M, he had 236 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and an 18-yard reception.[38] In the next game, a narrow 19–14 victory over Tennessee, he had 143 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.[39] In the following game, a much-anticipated matchup with fellow Heisman contender Leonard Fournette, he had 210 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns against LSU.[40] In the next game against Mississippi State, he had 204 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.[41] In the next game, against Charleston Southern, he had 68 rushing yards and two more rushing touchdowns in a limited role in the 56–6 victory.[42] In the Iron Bowl against Auburn, he had 271 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on 46 carries.[43] In the SEC Championship against Florida, he had 44 carries for 189 yards and a touchdown.[44] Alabama qualified for the College Football Playoff and faced off against Michigan State in the National Semifinals.[45] In the 38–0 victory over the Spartans in the Cotton Bowl, he had 75 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.[46] During Alabama's 45–40 victory over Clemson in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship, he rushed for 158 yards on 36 carries with three touchdowns.[47] During the game, he also broke Shaun Alexander's record for most career rushing yards in Alabama history.[48] Playing in all 15 games, he rushed for SEC records 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns on 395 carries. In addition, he scored at least one touchdown in each game.[49][50][51] Henry won the Heisman Trophy, beating out finalists Christian McCaffrey and Deshaun Watson.[52] He won numerous other awards including the Doak Walker Award, Walter Camp Award, and Maxwell Award.[53] He declared for the 2016 NFL Draft after his junior season.[14]

College statistics[edit]

Derrick Henry Rushing Receiving
Year Team Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2013 Alabama 35 382 10.6 80T 3 1 61 61.0 61T 1
2014 Alabama 172 990 5.8 49 11 5 133 26.6 49 2
2015 Alabama 395 2,219 5.6 74T 28 11 91 8.3 28 0
Career 602 3,591 6.0 80T 42 17 285 16.8 61T 3

Professional career[edit]

Coming out of Alabama, Henry was projected by the majority of analysts to be either drafted in the late first or second round. He was the overall consensus second best running back available behind Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott. Scouts regarded his main assets to be his large frame, violent running, ability to break tackles with ease, speed, long strides, superior conditioning, and consistent play. The main concerns were about the wear and tear his body took as a workhorse at Alabama, his slow acceleration, average foot quickness, below-average catching ability with his hands, narrow based running style, sluggish cutbacks, and his problem with running tall, although he was an extremely good power back.[54]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 2 58 in
(1.90 m)
247 lb
(112 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
8 34 in
(0.22 m)
4.54 s 1.60 s 2.67 s 4.38 s 7.20 s 37 in
(0.94 m)
10 ft 10 in
(3.30 m)
22 reps
All values from NFL Combine[55][56]

Henry was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the second round (45th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.[57] He was the second running back taken that year.[58] He was reunited with his former fullback at Alabama Jalston Fowler.[59]

2016 season: Rookie year[edit]

On May 9, 2016, the Tennessee Titans signed Henry to a four-year, $5.40 million contract with $3.30 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $2.13 million.[60]

Henry in 2016

Henry began his rookie season as the backup running back to veteran DeMarco Murray. He wore the No. 2 jersey throughout training camp and preseason and donned the No. 22 once running back Dexter McCluster was cut on September 2, 2016.[61] Henry made his professional regular season debut and earned his first career start in the Titans' season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He finished the game with five carries for 3 yards and two receptions for 41 yards.[62]

On October 27, 2016, Henry scored his first NFL touchdown on a 6-yard rush in a 36–22 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He finished the game with 16 carries for a then career-high 60 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown and 4 catches for 37 yards.[63] On December 18, 2016, he had 9 rushing attempts for 58 rushing yards and a season-high 2 rushing touchdowns in a 19–17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.[64] During a Week 17 matchup against the Houston Texans, he ran for a then-career-high 65 rushing yards on 15 carries and scored a touchdown in the 24–17 victory.[65]

Henry finished his rookie season with 110 carries for 490 yards (both 6th among NFL rookies in 2016[66]) and 5 touchdowns in 15 games and two starts. He also caught 13 passes for 137 yards.[67][68]

2017 season[edit]

Henry split carries with DeMarco Murray and run-oriented quarterback Marcus Mariota. On September 17, 2017, Henry ran for 92 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries in a 37–16 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars.[69] On October 16, 2017, on Monday Night Football, Henry ran for 131 yards on 19 carries, including a 72-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter of the 36–22 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. In addition, he had a reception for 14 receiving yards in the victory. The rushing total was the most yardage he had gained in his career.[70] On December 3, 2017, Henry ran for 109 yards on 11 carries and beat his longest rush of the year with a 75-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter of the 24–13 victory over the Houston Texans.[71] On December 31, 2017, Henry caught his first receiving touchdown on a 66-yard reception from Marcus Mariota.[72]

The Titans finished second in the AFC South with a 9–7 record and made the playoffs as a Wild Card team.[73][74] In the Wild Card Round, the Titans played the Kansas City Chiefs. Because DeMarco Murray was out with a knee injury, Henry got the start.[75] In a 22-21 victory, Henry had the best performance of his career up to that point, rushing for 156 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and catching two passes for 35 yards.[76][77] In the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots, Henry had 28 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards in the 35–14 loss.[78]

Henry finished the regular season with 176 carries for 744 rushing yards and five touchdowns in 15 games and two starts. He also caught 11 passes for 136 receiving yards and a touchdown. In the postseason, Henry ran for 184 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries and caught 5 passes for 56 yards.[79]

2018 season[edit]

Henry split carries with Dion Lewis and run-oriented quarterback Marcus Mariota for most of the 2018 season. During Week 2, Henry recorded an eight-yard pass completion, the first of his career, to wide receiver Taywan Taylor in the Titans' 20–17 victory over the Houston Texans.[80] He also had 18 carries in that game and the next against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but was used much less frequently through the middle of the season; from Weeks 4-13, Henry averaged nine carries for only 37 yards per game, and never rushed for over 60 yards.[67] This all changed in Week 14 against the Jaguars. In the second quarter, Henry had a 99-yard touchdown run, fending off three tacklers, tying him with Tony Dorsett for the longest NFL touchdown run. He finished the game with four rushing touchdowns and 238 rushing yards, breaking Chris Johnson's franchise record of 228 yards in 2009.[81][82][83] He also became the ninth player in NFL history to record a 200+ yard and 4+ touchdown game, and the first to do so on fewer than 22 carries.[84] His 238 rushing yards were the most by any player for a single game for the 2018 season.[85] Henry was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week due to his spectacular performance.[86] During Week 15, the Titans went on the road to face the New York Giants. In a cold and rainy game, Henry led the NFL in rushing for the second consecutive week with 170 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 33 carries, along with a one-yard reception and six-yard pass completion in the 17–0 shutout.[87] In Weeks 16 and 17, he combined for 177 rushing yards and a touchdown in the two games against the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts.[88][89] He was later named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for December.[90] Henry finished the 2018 season setting career-highs in rushing yards with 1,059, rushing touchdowns with 12, and receptions with 15.[91]

NFL statistics[edit]

Legend
Led the league
NFL Record
Bold Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2016 TEN 15 2 110 490 4.5 22 5 13 137 10.5 29 0 0 0
2017 TEN 16 2 176 744 4.2 75T 5 11 136 12.4 66T 1 1 0
2018 TEN 16 12 215 1,059 4.9 99T 12 15 99 6.6 21 0 1 1
Career 47 16 501 2,293 4.6 99T 22 39 372 9.5 66T 1 2 1

Postseason[edit]

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2017 TEN 2 2 35 184 5.3 35T 1 5 56 11.2 29 0 1 0
Career 2 2 35 184 5.3 35T 1 5 56 11.2 29 0 1 0

[77]

NFL records[edit]

  • First player to record a 200+ yard and 4+ touchdown game on fewer than 22 carries

Titans franchise records[edit]

  • Most rushing yards in a game: 238[92]
  • Most rushing yards in back-to-back games: 408[93]
  • Most scrimmage yards in a postseason game: 191[94]
  • Longest rushing play: 99 yards (Henry became the second player in NFL history to record a 99-yard rushing touchdown, joining Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett who achieved this in 1982)[95]

Personal life[edit]

Henry's late grandmother, Gladys Henry, helped raise him and played a key inspirational role in his development. In 2018, he fulfilled a promise to her and graduated from Alabama in May 2018 with a bachelor's degree in communications. He has a portrait tattoo of her on his chest. She nicknamed him "Shocka" as a baby because he "shocked the whole family" when he was born. He also has a dog named Nino.[96]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]