Before his days playing on national television in the SEC, Derrick Henry grew up in the small town of Yulee, Florida. Despite his success, Henry has not forgotten where he has come from.
His family continues to play an integral role in his life and helped him become the person he is. There are a number of people that Henry is close to and who played a part in raising him. Stacy Veal, Derrick’s mother, is proud of her son’s accomplishments. His grandmother, Glady’s, remains a big part of his life even though he lives in Tuscaloosa.
Get to know the family that stands behind Derrick Henry:
1. His Mother Talked Him Out of Transferring from Alabama
During Henry’s freshman season at Alabama he was fourth on the depth chart and had just 28 carries. He was thinking of transferring from Alabama but his family stepped in to help him rethink the decision.
Derrick’s mother, Stacy Veal and his high school mentor, J.T. Medley took matters into their own hands. They called Nick Saban to warn him about Henry’s unhappiness. The coaching staff was unaware of his displeasure.
According to ESPN, Saban informed them that Henry was already going to be elevated to the number two running back for the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma. Henry took advantage of his opportunity and had 161 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
2. Henry’s Parents were 15 and 16 When He Was Born
According to SEC Country, Henry’s parents were young when he was born. Veal was 15 while his father, Derrick Henry, Sr. was 16 years old. Derrick lived with his mother and grandmother growing up. His grandmother was influential in helping to raise him, and he remains very close with her.
3. Henry Has a Tattoo of His Grandmother’s Name on His Chest
Glady’s, Henry’s grandmother, was instrumental in helping raise Henry. He speaks often of their relationship and even has a tattoo of her name on his chest. He spoke to ESPN about their relationship:
“She’s taught me a lot and she’s still teaching me. Just always keep my head on straight, stay humble and keep God first.”
4. His Father Has Been Arrested Several Times
Derrick Henry, Sr. has had his share of trouble. According to ESPN, he has been arrested several times for possession of marijuana and cocaine. Henry, Sr. has tried to help his son avoid some of the same mistakes he made. In an interview with ESPN he explained his instructions to his son:
It was just me being young and crazy and just running the streets and hanging with the wrong crowd as I grew up. I told him: ‘You don’t need to do that. I mean, that’s no life. You can wait and don’t get started early. You have a chance to be somebody, not just sit around and let your life waste away.’ “
5. His Grandmother Calls Him “Shocker”
Henry’s play on the field has earned him quite a few nicknames. Long before he was in the spotlight, his grandmother gave him the nickname of “Shocker”.
The nickname points to her reaction when she found out Henry was going to be born. His parents were both very young at the time, and it came as a surprise to the family. It turned out to be a good surprise.