At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Derrick Henry is ready to burst on the scene as a premier back in the NFL this season with the Tennessee Titans. Before his first year as the primary starter in Tennessee kicks off, Henry made time to help kick off the school year by giving back to his community.
In conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of Franklin, the third-year running back set aside his evening on Monday to take 15 lucky kids back-to-school shopping, something every kid relishes the opportunity to do when given the chance.
Derrick Henry grew up in Yulee, Florida, where he was a part of the Boys & Girls Club in Jacksonville.
At the University of Alabama, Henry was named the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner after breaking the SEC rushing records for carries, yards and touchdowns as a member of the Crimson Tide.
The powerhouse running back showed his softer side, and talked about what it means to give back to kids whose only care in the world is having some new gear and supplies for the school year.
“It’s a blessing to be a blessing to kids,” Henry said. “It’s a chance to provide these kids things they need for school – book bags, water bottles, clothes, shoes, anything they need for sports. If they play Pop Warner sports, it can help them. It’s one less thing for their parents to get.
“I was just like them when I was a kid. I wanted to get cleats, I wanted to get clothes, and I wanted to get cool shoes. It was always important to me, to look good going to school. I always wanted to look the best, dress the best. So this is fun for me, and it’s fun to help them out. I love spending time with kids.”
Each kid received a $125 gift card for everything they needed to start the school year. Henry even served as a fashion consultant, helping the kids pick out matching outfits as best he could.
“Anytime I can get with the kids, it is like getting away,” he said. “I love spending time with the kids, and having the opportunity to help them. Anything I can do to inspire them.”
The NFL is clouded with negativity these days. Sometimes, seeing that professional football players are much more than the privileged icons they’re portrayed to be helps us remember that football is just a game.
Taking time to give back is more than a professional athletes job, and we all can help chip in to lift others around us.