ESPN 150 athlete Derrick Henry (Yulee, Fla./Yulee) set a Florida state single-game rushing record Friday when the 6-foot-3, 245-pound senior had 502 rushing yards. Yulee head coach Bobby Ramsay has seen Henry have big games before, but Friday's performance in a 45-28 victory over Jacksonville (Fla.) Andrew Jackson was one for the books.
"I was telling someone Saturday that there are a lot of variables that go into having that sort of a performance," Ramsay said. "For one thing the game has to be close enough for him to stay in. There have been situations where he could have probably run for 700 yards, but it wasn't worth the risk of injury.
"And we played a good team. They flipped the field on us several times and that forced us to have long drives and give him plenty of opportunities to gain yardage. We needed the offensive line to be at their best and those guys also gave a quality performance Friday night. They did an excellent job. All in all it was a special night and Derrick is a special player. I'm happy for him; I'm happy that we as a team and a program and a community could share in this moment."
Henry's performance leads into what should be a busy week for him. He will make his announcement Thursday at the school, choosing between Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.
Yulee will take on Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Day in a nationally televised game Friday.
Henry took an official visit to Alabama over the weekend. He visited Tennessee the week before and had previously committed to Georgia before deciding to open up his recruitment during the spring.
"I think Derrick has seen everything he needs to see from each of the programs," Ramsay said. "He is going to make this decision with a clear head and will full confidence that he's doing the right thing."
This will be Yulee's second time on national television and Ramsay hopes it goes better than the first time.
"I learned a lot of things from my first time on television with the main thing being not to play Buford (Ga.) because that was a rough night," Ramsay said with a laugh. "As coaches we are going to try to prepare for this week like any other but knowing we'll have a do a conference call and a few more things.
"As for the players, I want them to embrace this moment. I told them that Yulee High School could be around for another 150 years and we'll probably never play on ESPN again, so they need to enjoy every second of it. Record the game, play it back for their children one day."
Glades Day features ESPN 150 running back and state career rushing leader Kelvin Taylor. Ramsey knows that the fans are hoping for a duel between the two players but he's just hoping for a win.
"I know the television audience is hoping for a game of 'can you top this' with Derrick running for a 70-yard score and Taylor running for a 75-yard score and Derrick running for an 80-yard score," Ramsay said. "I know both players will have their moments because they are two of the best we've ever seen. I just want my team to have more points on the board when the clock hits zero."