YULEE, Fla. – In honor of the unveiling of a sign that features his name, Derrick Henry, an NFL running back and Heisman Trophy winner, signed autographs for fans on Friday in Yulee.
This sign is the result of some very passionate fundraising by the folks who live in Yulee and appreciate what the star running back has done not just on the field, but off the field. It’s Henry’s hometown.
Numerous fans, his family and his former coaches came out to see the sign at U.S. 17 and State Road 200. They spoke about how he’s a role model to everyone, and it clearly meant a lot to the football star.
“All these people are like family, so, all the kind words, you know, for this moment — it’s so special to me and something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life," he said. "Me coming home and seeing this sign, you know, it’s kind of, like, bringing tears to my eyes.”
Henry’s former high school coach said he watched the quiet child who grew up on a dirt road in Yulee grow into a star player.
“When he graduated, I was always hoping there would be some kind of recognition somewhere for what he did," said Bobby Ramsay, Henry’s former high school coach. "Then when he went to Alabama and won the Heisman, I was like, ‘You got to do something.’”
The widow of late Yulee High School Coach Pat Dunlap told News4Jax the community embraced the sign idea and made it happen.