MT JULIET – Titans running back Derrick Henry will report to training camp on Thursday, and a day later he'll be on the field for the team's first practice.
The start of the 2019 season is on the horizon.
"I am definitely ready," Henry said on Wednesday morning. "It's time to get this thing going. I am excited, and ready to get back with the guys. All the guys are excited to be back. It's time to put the pads on and get this thing going."
Before Henry turned his complete attention to football, however, he spent Wednesday morning in the community, with children.
Henry teamed up with Academy Sports + Outdoors to get local Nashville children prepared for the upcoming school year with a back-to-school shopping spree at Academy in Mt. Juliet. He made his way through the aisles as 35 children from Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee shopped for new back-to-school products such as backpacks, apparel, footwear, team sports equipment, and more with a $200 gift card.
"It's always fun to get time to get a chance to spend time with kids in the community, and let them get some things that they need," Henry said. "I am glad to do it. It puts a smile on my face just as much as it does theirs.
"I just want to be a great influence in the community, especially for the youth. … I want to be a blessing to all these kids. I am fortunate and happy to be in a situation to do this and I will continue to do it as long as I am living, as long as I am playing this sport, having this platform."
Henry is in the process starting his own foundation (Two All) to "help people who need help."
LaQuinta McGhee, COO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, said the shopping spree with Henry was a surprise to the kids. Henry also helped with a back-to-school shopping spree for children last year before training camp.
"I could see in their eyes – and how all of them borrowed a phone from their parents – how excited they were to see Derrick when he came in here," McGhee said. "This is exciting for them, and it's something they'll always remember. When it comes time for Show and Tell, or a conversation to talk about their summer, they can definitely say they had a great summer because they were able to meet Derrick Henry of the Titans."
Henry, who is coming off a 1,059-yard season, hopes to start off the 2019 season the way he finished in 2018 when he hits the field later this week.
Henry ran for 625 yards and eight touchdowns in December in 2018.
"Get better," Henry said. "Get better each and every day and compete, learn, and grow, develop even more. I want to get better (in camp) and be ready for the season."
Titans running back Derrick Henry teamed up with Academy Sports + Outdoors to get local Nashville children prepared for the upcoming school year with a back-to-school shopping spree at Academy in Mt. Juliet. (Photos: Donald Page)
Titans Online looks back at RB Derrick Henry's 2018 season, in which he rushed for a career-high 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns. (AP Photos)