Mr. 2,000: Yulee grad Derrick Henry joins exclusive rushing club

Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans runs for yards during the second half of a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

Derrick Henry did it in high school, in college and now in the NFL.

The Titans running back and Yulee High School graduate became the eighth man in NFL history to run for at least 2,000 yards in a single season when he reached that mark against the Texans.

Henry came into Sunday’s regular season finale needing 223 yards rushing to become the second man in franchise history to reach 2,000. He came in as the NFL’s rushing leader for a second straight season with a career-best 1,777 yards rushing.

He finished with 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 34 carries in the 41-38 Titans win. Henry ended the regular season with 2,027 rushing yards.

That trails only Eric Dickerson (2,105 in 1984), Adrian Peterson (2,097 in 2012), Jamal Lewis (2,066 in 2003) and Barry Sanders (2,053 in 1997).

Henry also has the franchise record, topping Chris Johnson who had 2,006 yards in 2009.

Henry won the Heisman Trophy as a junior at Alabama in 2015 when he rushed for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns. In high school at Yulee, Henry hit the 2,000-yard rushing mark each season, including a staggering 4,261 yards as a senior in 2012.

The two-time Pro Bowl running back appeared ready to run for the 18 yards he needed for that mark late in the third quarter only to be stripped of the ball by Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham. Houston scored to pull within 31-28. The Texans scored 20 straight to go up 35-31.

Henry ran for 6 yards on second-and-5 to give him 2,003 yards.