U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, formally recognized 2015 Heisman Trophy Winner Derrick Henry, of Yulee, Florida, with the following statement in the official Congressional Record. The following is the full text of Crenshaw statement:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate University of Alabama Running Back Derrick Henry for winning the 2015 Heisman Trophy and to honor his hard work on and off the football field.
Derrick Henry was born and raised in Yulee, Florida, located in the Fourth Congressional District of Florida. This small Nassau County town of about 11,500 people is named after Senator David Levy Yulee, the first Jewish Member in the United States Senate. Accepting the award in our country’s most populous city – New York – Derrick Henry suddenly became Yulee’s most notable person.
Back home in Yulee, however, it was just another day in the life of Derrick Henry. He has always been extraordinary. Born to teenage parents, Derrick Henry, Sr., and Stacy Veal, Derrick was raised in a large family headed by his grandmother Gladys Henry, who gave him his nickname Shocka. Derrick’s family instilled in him a strong work ethic and inspired him to run for his dream of playing football and one day winning the Heisman Trophy.
Today, at 6 foot 3, 242 pounds, Derrick is a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron. He has handled his new-found fame with humbleness and humility and with the same strong faith in God that was taught to him by his grandmother and his family. At Yulee High School, they have a program that pairs special needs students with classmates. It is called Hornet Buddies, and Jake Martin, who was born with Down syndrome, was Derrick’s buddy. Derrick taught Jake how to play football and in the final game of the Hornets’ season, Jake lined up at running back. He made two carries – both for negative yardage – but he was in the game. Derrick’s football career will be much longer than Jake’s, but on that day the game highlight showed what a winner Derrick Henry already was.
Before America met Derrick at Alabama, he set a Florida high school record for rushing yards in a single game on September 21, 2012 rushing for 502 yards and six touchdowns on 48 carries. In his final high-school game, on November 16, 2012, Derrick Henry rushed for an incredible 52 yard touchdown run. With this touchdown run, Derrick Henry broke the legendary Ken Hall’s career rushing high school record for most career rushing yards, a title Hall had held for 59 years.
Coached by Bobby Ramsay at Yulee High School, Derrick finished his high school career with 12,124 rushing yards. He was awarded the Florida Times Union Offensive and Super 24 Player of the Year, Florida’s Mr. Football, and Parade Magazine’s All-American Player of the Year.
None of these awards and accolades were shocking to Coach Ramsay, Derrick’s middle school coach and longtime mentor J.T. Medley, or the entire Yulee community. They have always known Derrick as a quiet, polite, hard-working young man both in the classroom and on the field. It does not come as a surprise to his teachers that Derrick will complete his degree at Alabama and graduate this spring. Finishing what he starts is what Derrick Henry does.
Leading up to winning the Heisman Trophy, Derrick Henry gained ground on the competition in each game Alabama played this past year. Along the way Derrick won the 2015 SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award, and his 1,986 yards rushing broke Herschel Walker’s 1982 single-season SEC rushing record by four yards. He also won the Maxwell Award as college’s most valuable player and the Doak Walker Award as the top running back.
At Alabama, Derrick holds the school’s record for most consecutive games with a touchdown and tied former Heisman Trophy recipient University of Florida’s Quarterback Tim Tebow’s SEC mark of 14 straight games with a touchdown score in the November 2015 game against Mississippi State. Tim Tebow is also from Florida’s Fourth Congressional District.
A role model not only to football fans everywhere but especially to his supportive community in Yulee, Florida, Derrick Henry is a respected leader on the football field and in life. He has always put team before self and his generous spirit and infectious smile make Derrick Henry a local hero. I send my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Derrick and his family and friends.
Mr. Speaker, I ask you and Members of Congress to join me in congratulating Derrick Henry on winning college football’s most coveted and prestigious award, the Heisman Trophy. In addition, I must note to all college and high school football players, if you want the best chance of winning the Heisman Trophy….move to the Fourth Congressional District of Florida…home of two Heisman Trophy winners in the last ten years.
U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., was first elected to Congress in 2000.