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DERRICK HENRY HS RUSHING RECORD

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This post is a summary of a Five Minutes of Football History edition of The Game Before the Money Podcast. New episodes are released each Tuesday. Many podcast episodes include interviews with pro and college football legends.

You likely know that Emmitt Smith owns the NFL career rushing record. Did you know that Derrick Henry owns the national high school career rushing record?

You might ask, “What’s the big deal about a high school record?”

The fact that the previous record stood for 59 years is what is such a big deal. Ken Hall set the long-standing record at Sugar Land High School in Sugar Land, Texas. His high school career ended in 1953. Derrick Henry broke the record as a senior at Yulee High School in Yulee, Florida in 2012. Think of all the great NFL running backs who went to high school between 1953 and 2012. That’s a pretty outstanding group and it puts the record into perspective!

Learn more about the high school rushing record and where NFL stars Emmitt Smith, Herschel Walker, and Billy Sims fit into the mix in this episode of The Game before the Money Podcast

You can scroll and read the podcast transcript below. You also can listen to the podcast with the player below or on your favorite podcast listening app.

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FOOTBALL HISTORY PODCAST:
Hi, everybody, welcome to "The Game before the Money" podcast. This episode is Five Minutes of Football History Edition.

Derrick Henry and the National High School Rushing Record.

Hi, everybody. Welcome to "The Game before the Money" podcast.

THE GAME BEFORE THE MONEY author Jackson Michael:
I'm Jackson Michael, author of "The Game Before the Money. Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL" published by the University of Nebraska Press. You often hear that records are made to be broken. Some records stand a long test of time, however. Norm Van Brocklin's NFL single game passing record has stood since 1951. Even in today's era of heavy pass offenses. Think about all the great quarterbacks who have posted amazing stats and haven't broken Van Brocklin's passing record. Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, Warren Moon and even today's stars like Drew Brees and Tom Brady have yet to match that record.

Derrick Henry High School

The same held true for the National High School career rushing record. Ken Hall, nicknamed the Sugar Land Express, held that record from the early 1950s until Derrick Henry broke the record in 2012. Derrick Henry broke Hall's record when he played for Yulee High School in Yulee, Florida. He rest for twelve thousand one hundred and twenty four yards in his high school career, including over 4000 yards in his senior year alone. Ken Hall rushed for eleven thousand two hundred and thirty two yards in his career.

Ken Hall High School Rushing Record

Hall's Senior year in high school was nineteen fifty three and he was the only person in the record books with eleven thousand career yards rushing for a long time. Future Detroit Lions star Billy Sims ran for just over seventy seven hundred yards in his high school career, and that placed him second on the list of all time behind Ken Hall. That was over 20 years after Ken Hall's high school career and still almost 4000 yards behind him.

Emmitt Smith and Herschel Walker high school football stats

Emmitt Smith later held the second spot behind Hall with eighty eight hundred yards. For perspective, the NFL is all time rushing. Leader was second on the all time high school rushing list over two thousand yards behind hall and over three thousand yards behind Derrick Henry's current record. For more perspective, Herschel Walker rushed for over thirty one hundred yards in 1979 and high school that placed him fourth on the single season high school yardage list. At that time, Ken Hall held two of the three spots ahead of Herschel Walker.

After Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy at Alabama and entered the NFL draft. I told everybody that I knew who watched football, that Derrick Henry should have been everybody's first round pick. In my mind, he was a can't miss player. And here's why. Think about the National High School rushing record set in nineteen fifty three and it stood up to everybody: Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Earl Campbell. Think about that. Derrick Henry bested that record that stood through all of those all time greats and then he trampled defenses in college and won the Heisman Trophy. As it turned out, Henry went midway through the second round of the NFL draft. He was the second running back chosen in the twenty sixteen draft. The Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott Fourth overall. And Elliott has also turned out to be great. I'm not questioning the Cowboys picking Elliott over Derrick Henry, but I do sometimes wonder why all the other teams slept on Derrick Henry. When you combine his high school and collegiate performances, and I'm sure I'm far from the only person who labeled Derrick Henry as a sure thing.

Here are some of the amazing things Derrick Henry accomplished at the high school level. And I know it's high school, but remember, he led the nation in rushing and touchdowns as a junior at Alabama and helped the tide win the national championship by scoring three touchdowns in the championship game. Combine that with his high school stats and you'll learn why. I believe Derrick Henry is going to enjoy a long, amazing career in the NFL, barring any sort of injury.

Derrick Henry High School Stats

In his senior year in high school alone. He ran for over forty two hundred yards and scored fifty five touchdowns. That's a year when every. Single defense knew he was getting the ball. As a freshman varsity player playing against seniors, he ran for over 2,400 yards and averaged nearly eight yards a carry. That's as a freshman in high school. What's really telling to me, however, is that he shattered the career high school rushing record that stood for 59 years and he broke it by almost a thousand yards. Again, think about all the great NFL running backs who all played high school football and never came close to Hall's fifty nine year record that Henry broke by almost a thousand yards.

Ken Hall College Football Career

Now, at this point, a lot of you are probably asking whatever happened to Ken Hall? He went to Texas A&M to play football under Bear Bryant.

A 2016 feature on hall by the Houston Chronicle stated that Bryant wasn't impressed with Hall's defensive play in an arrow with limited substitution in college football. Most players were playing both ways, offense and defense. Hall eventually left the team. And years later, Bear Bryant wrote Hall and told them that his handling of the situation was the biggest coaching mistake he ever made. Hall was not angry with the legendary coach and appreciated the note, despite not hardly playing at all in college.

Ken Hall NFL Career

Ken Hall was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1958. He never played for the Colts, but he did play in the Canadian Football League and also for the Chicago and St. Louis Cardinals in the NFL and the Houston Oilers in the AFL. His career highlights are an 84 yard punt return for a touchdown while playing for the Cardinals and a 104 yard kickoff return for a touchdown while playing for the Oilers. The one hundred and four yard kickoff return was the third longest in AFL history, and Hall owns the American Football League single season record by averaging over 30 yards per kickoff return by all players with 14 attempts or more.

After last year's playoff. I'm sure you're all watching Derrick Henry already, but keep paying close attention to him. Remember, he broke a national record that stood for nearly 60 years, a record that wasn't touched by a long list of NFL greats. Thank you for listening. Five minutes of football history comes out every Tuesday on the game before the Money podcast.

And I've just posted a longer episode with Dub Jones. A member of the 1950s Cleveland Browns championship teams and one of only three players in NFL history to score six touchdowns in one game!

You can check that out at The Game before the Money.com or wherever you get your podcast. The game before the Money podcast is powered by our transcription partner, Sonix Visit Sonix. dot A I. To learn more about their automated transcription services. A transcription of this podcast is available at "The Game before the Money" dot com.

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