Rushing machine Robert Henry making a name for himself at Jones College

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 11:32 PM CDT
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ELLISVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - The name Robert Henry should be a familiar one for high school football fans around the Pine Belt.

Twice named Class 1A’s “Mr. Football” while at Lumberton, Henry rushed for 1,961 yards as a senior, leading the Panthers to the 2020 state championship.

He brought his skills to Jones College and opened his sophomore campaign in style.

“That’s a, ‘No, no, no - go, go go’ play,” said Jones College head coach Steve Buckley. “He caught eye contact with me and he said I knew I had to get back to the line of scrimmage and it turned into a big play.”

“I had to make something happen,” Henry said. “So that’s what I did.”

Henry’s outrageous 45-yard touchdown run to begin the Bobcats’ 2022 season was perhaps a nod to the rest of the NJCAA – get used to this.

Of course, it wasn’t uncommon to see Henry tearing up turf at Lumberton High School.

“I love when people ask me where I’m from,” Henry said. “I’m glad to say Lumberton. You know Lumberton’s small so there’s really not much you can do but sports.”

He fell hard for football at four-years-old – later he’d be nicknamed “Grandpa” for the experience he brought to Lumberton’s locker room.

Without any Division I offers after graduation, Henry signed a scholarship with Jones College.

“When I first got here, I didn’t really like it,” Henry said. “But as I got the feel of it, it turned out to be good. Jones, they’re going to push you to your full potential. So every day is getting better.”

There’s certain natural gifts that can’t be taught, but what Henry learned from first-team all-MACCC running back La’Damian Webb last season has carried over into 2022.

Through two games, Henry leads the NJCAA with 409 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on 49 carries, averaging 204.5 yards per game.

He turned 31 touches into 219 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Bobcats’ 42-28 win over No. 5 East Mississippi – earning MACCC Offensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week.

“Robert’s the complete package as a tailback,” Buckley said. “He has elite speed, he studies the game. He’s going to work at his weaknesses, which I love about him. He questions things he doesn’t understand from a scheme standpoint and he doesn’t mind pass protecting. To play at the next level and the NFL, you have to be able to pass protect. And he’s proven that he’ll do those things.”

His name may have been lost in the shuffle coming out of high school but pretty soon those phones lines will be lighting up in Ellisville with coaches asking for Robert Henry.

“I feel like I’m an underdog and I like it ‘cause that just goes to show me you just have to work even harder,” Henry said. “You gotta have heart, that’s the number one thing.”

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