MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Through three games in the 2018 college football season, Memphis Tigers junior running back Darrell Henderson is averaging 14.5 yards per carry, good enough lead the nation.
Henderson is also top five in the country in rushing yards per game, and has seven touchdowns so far this season--six of those on the ground.
Henderson’s 233-yard rushing performance against Georgia State helped the Tigers to a 59-22 win at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Friday night.
“Coming out of high school I was always underrated,” Henderson said when asked on his early season statistics. “So once I got to college I’ve worked even harder, and with the offensive line I have now anything is possible.”
Henderson also picked up his second straight 200-plus-yard performance in the win, making him the first Memphis Tiger running back to rush for 200-plus yards in back-to-back games since DeAngelo Williams.
“He did a lot for this university,” Henderson said of Williams. “Me being mentioned with him is big time for me.”
Henderson hasn’t quite reached Williams' status yet, but something that might help is the extra pounds Henderson added this offseason to include some brute strength to his breakaway speed.
“It’s helped my physically, because people think I’m more of a slash guy,” Henderson said. “When they come down to hit me they don’t really come, so now, they don’t know what to expect. They don’t know if I’m going to slash them or run through them."
”What you don’t see is how hard he works," Tigers head coach Mike Norvell said. “When he’s at practice everyday that’s how he runs. His first couple of years he’s had the same kind of productivity, he’s had the explosive runs, but for him you see how he’s matured. His body is maturing. He added 15-20 pounds this offseason, and that’s allowing him to be a durable, all-purpose back.”
The next challenge for Henderson and the Tigers is the South Alabama Jaguars next Saturday at the Liberty Bowl. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.