Henry attended Yulee High School in Nassau County, Florida and starred on the football, basketball and track teams. As a running back for the Yulee Hornets he amassed 12,124 yards in four seasons, surpassing the record set by Ken Hall from Sugar Land High School in Texas in 1953.
As a freshman, Henry played third-string behind T. J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake. During the regular season he got 36 carries, amassing 382 yards with three touchdowns. In Alabama's 45-31 lost to Oklahoma in the 2014 Sugar Bowl he had 8 carries for 100 yards and one score, and added a second touchdown on a 61-yard pass from A. J. McCarron.
In his second season Henry shared running back duties with Yeldon, earning more snaps after Kenyan Drake suffered a serious leg fracture against Ole Miss on October 4. He finished the season with 990 yards and 11 touchdowns on 172 runs along with 5 passes caught for another 133 yards.
In his junior year, Henry was used as the featured back in a run-heavy offense. Through the 12-game regular season he accounted for 1,797 yards and 22 touchdowns on 295 carries, and added 97 yards on 10 receptions. He outplayed LSU's Leonard Fournette to emerge as a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy.
- Schoettler, Jim (December 22, 2012) "For Derrick Henry and Yulee, a bittersweet goodbye." The Florida Times-Union
- "Derrick Henry" (December 3, 2015) Wikipedia - accessed December 4, 2015