Yulee (Fla.) sophomore running back Derrick Henry was focused on his team's game against Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles all week. That focus showed, as he came out in the first half determined to give Yulee a chance against the Bulldogs. In the opening half, Henry turned in a three touchdown effort to keep it close, 28-20. But when the final whistle sounded, Bolles had run away to a 56-27 victory, despite Henry's 217 yards and three touchdowns on the ground to go along with a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown.
"I knew we had to come out fired up and on that first drive we got the ball, come out and score," Henry said. "We did that and we kept the momentum on our side for the first half. But in the second half we didn't. We wanted to come out here and make a statement against Bolles but we came up short. The second half, we struggled. We will have to go back, watch the video, become a better football team, and keep working towards the playoffs."
While he still has two years of high school remaining, Henry is already a major target for a number of schools around the country.
"I have a lot of schools coming after me but I am not that worried about that," Henry said. "I have a lot of football left to play in high school, I am a sophomore. … I use all the interest from the schools as motivation to get in the weight room and keep working hard. When that time comes, I'll be ready for the next step."
Last weekend, he took a trip to check out two in-state powers. It was the first of a few trips he has planned during the college football season.
"I went to Miami-FSU game, obviously FSU killed them," Henry said. "I don't know for sure but I plan to be at the FSU-Boston College game (Saturday) and then later on I plan to visit South Carolina for the Arkansas game."
Henry talked more about his time at Sun Life Stadium where he watched the Seminoles defeat the Hurricanes 45-17.
"It was really good, to sit in the front row and see what a college game is like," Henry said. "The atmosphere between FSU and Miami was real intense in the stadium. Miami came out fired up, FSU came out fired up, and FSU just made more plays and they were ready to score and hit on defense. FSU executed and won the big game. That was impressive to me."
In fact, those two programs sit at the top of his early list, with one standing above all others.
"Right now those are probably my two top schools," Henry said. "They are really showing me a lot of interest, a lot of love, especially FSU. I would put FSU first because I really like Coach (Eddie) Gran. He is a real good guy. I went to the camp and worked out with him. It was really fun. Played Noleball, that was fun. (Head Coach) Jimbo Fisher is real cool and he talks to you straight up, I like that. I feel at home when I talk to them."
On the season, Henry has 1,496 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. He said his goal is to lead his team to the playoffs and amass more than 3,000 yards on the ground in doing so.