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Derrick Henry Congratulates High School RB Born With One Hand Who Broke His Record

In Friday’s Hot Clicks: an amazing high school football player in Florida, the dangers of playing on artificial turf and more.

This kid’s stats are unreal

If you think NFL defenses have a hard time stopping Derrick Henry, wait until you hear what he did to high school defenses in Yulee, Fla. His senior year stats are laugh-out-loud funny: 462 carries for 4,261 yards and 55 touchdowns in 12 games. That’s 327.8 yards per game and 9.2 yards per carry. Outrageous. His highlight reel is just three minutes of him knocking guys over.

Henry holds all sorts of records, including the national mark for career-high school rushing yards (12,124) originally set by Ken Hall of Sugar Land, Texas, in 1953. His senior year yardage and touchdown totals are also Florida state records. He also held the state’s single-game rushing record (502 yards) until it was broken last week by Kayleb Wagner of Baker High School in Baker, Fla.

Wagner, who was born without a left hand and part of his forearm, reeled off 535 yards and scored six touchdowns in his team’s win last Friday over South Walton. The junior needed just 25 carries to set the record, which works out to an average of 21.4 yards per attempt.

The eye-popping performance caught the attention of Henry, who said he was inspired by Wagner.

​​“I think it is incredible,” Henry told reporters Thursday. “I thought it was really cool. I got to talk to him a little bit on Instagram and hopefully he breaks some more. That was really cool, definitely an inspiration to me and I am sure he is an inspiration to his team and everybody over there in that community. It was definitely cool to see and hopefully, I can do something for him these upcoming weeks.”

Henry also reached out to Wagner privately to congratulate him and offer some game-used gear.

“We went back and forth for five minutes or so,” Wagner told MaxPreps. “He congratulated me, said he would send me a pair of his cleats and game gloves. It was very, very cool. I think it really hit me then that I had the record.”

Wagner might have broken the record in his team’s first game of the season if he had been given the chance. He had four carries for 267 yards and four touchdowns in the opener against Rocky Bayou Christian, but coach Matt Brunson pulled his starters at the half with his team leading 49–7. Baker needed every one of Wagner’s yards in the record-setting game, though. The Gators eked out a 49–48 win after trailing 42–35 in the fourth.

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Baker is a town of just 900 in the Panhandle, but the Gators are a powerhouse. They went 15–0 in 2020 and won their fifth Florida Class 1A state championship. Wagner split time at running back last year with Joe Brunson, who led the state in rushing yardage, and rushed for 1,403 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Wagner is the featured back now, though, and tore it up again in Thursday’s 43–42 win over Northview. He had 426 yards and five touchdowns on 34 carries. Those are incredible numbers, and the fact that Wagner has only one hand makes it even more impressive.

“I don’t view myself as, ‘I have one arm,’ I look at everybody else out there—I’m just like them,” Wagner told WEAR-TV in Pensacola.

Well, maybe he’s not exactly like “everybody else.” Who else can run for 535 yards in a single game? Not even Derrick Henry. 

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