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Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy in 2015

When Derrick Henry’s grandmother celebrated Alabama RB’s Heisman Trophy win in hospital

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is one of the best in the NFL, and prior to being drafted, he was the best in college football. Playing for Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide, Henry was nearly unstoppable.

One of Henry's biggest supporters is his grandmother, Gladys. With the Heisman Trophy ceremony taking place in New York, because of her respiratory illness, Gladys could not make the trip to see her grandson win the award.


Instead, she and the rest of her family gathered in her hospital room to watch on TV. But how did Gladys feel when she saw her grandson on stage accepting the award with a big family gathering around her?

"Having all of our family here for this is so special," she said via www.al.com. "A part of [Derrick] is here with us."
"This meant the world to me."

It was a fantastic moment for Gladys to see her grandson take on college football's most prestigious individual award. He won it after a season where he rushed for an incredible 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Gladys in her hospital bed surrounded by family during the Heisman ceremony. Photo via al.com

When Henry was selected by the Titans, it was a great moment for the family and Gladys was clearly proud of the grandson she helped raise.

Unfortunately, in September of 2016, just two days after Henry made his debut for the Titans, Gladys passed away.

Derrick Henry's Heisman form carried over into the NFL

Derrick Henry in action

After his incredible Heisman Trophy win, many thought that Derrick Henry's form would translate into success at the NFL level. But he was a slow burn to start with as he got used to the rigors of NFL football.

He totalled just 490 and 774 rushing yards in 2016 and 2017 before he took off. In four of the next five years, Henry would rush for over 1,000 yards with his best coming in 2020 where he rushed for an incredible 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns as he was named All-Pro and Offensive Player of the Year.

In 2021, injuries limited his impact to just eight games and 937 yards. But last season, Derrick Henry was back to his best, finishing with 1,538 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

However, for all the good he has done in the NFL, we aren't sure anything can top how proud his grandmother was to see him win the Heisman Trophy back in 2015.

Edited by
Akshay Saraswat
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