According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term “freak” is defined as a person that is markedly unusual or abnormal. The term gets thrown out a lot in sports when referring to the physical and athletic ability of a recruit or player. And let’s be honest, it’s as overused as Lee Corso’s “not so fast my friend.”
After brainstorming for a while (more like two minutes), the only word I can think of to describe Yulee High School’s Derrick Henry is freak— a true athletic anomaly.
The 6-foot-3 1/2, 232-pound athlete should be a tight end or defensive end right? Well not so fast my friend….what can I say, it’s catchy.
Henry competed at “The Opening,” a combine put on by Nike in Oregon this past weekend. Though Henry will only be a junior this upcoming season, he clocked a 4.45-second electronically timed 40-yard dash time and finished fourth in the Nike SPARQ championships at the combine. Henry also registered a 38.5” vertical and a 4.21 shuttle time.
Last season, Henry amassed an amazing 2,689 yards rushing and 38 touchdowns on 303 carries. Not bad for a sophomore right? For his career, Henry has totaled 5,300 total rushing yards and 65 touchdowns, and the Florida state record books will probably have his name at or near the top of just about every rushing record.
While in Oregon, Henry had a chance to meet former Gator All-American defensive back and current starting corner for the Cleveland Browns Joe Haden.
“Haden just talked to me about what is was like being a Gator, and that it takes a lot of hard work to get to the league,” Henry said.
On the recruiting trail, Henry has offers from just about every school in the southeast, but one school stands out the most for him right now.
“Florida is my leader,” he said. “After that I like FSU, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. Florida is just recruiting me real hard. When I visited in the spring, they broke down my film with me, and told me what I needed to work on and how I can improve my game.”
So with the ridiculous stats that he already has, what areas do the Florida coaches think he needs to work on?
“They talked to me about ball security and how important it is. They talked to me about running low because the higher I run the more chance of an injury. They also want me to work on catching the ball out of the backfield more.”
“Yeah I met Mike and Latroy. They are good guys. Mike was joking around a lot about my size, but they were both cool,” Henry said.
Henry is planning to attend Friday Night Lights later this month but says he does not plan to make a college decision until his senior year.
Gator Country Recruiting Coordinator Derek Tyson can be reached at . You can also follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/DerekTysonGC