Hunter Henry

American football player (born 1994)

American football player
Hunter Henry
refer to caption
Henry with the San Diego Chargers in 2016
No. 86 – New England Patriots
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1994-12-07) December 7, 1994 (age 29)
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:258 lb (117 kg)
Career information
High school:Pulaski Academy (Little Rock)
College:Arkansas (2013–2015)
NFL draft:2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 35
Career history
  • San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers (2016–2020)
  • New England Patriots (2021–present)
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Receptions:329
Receiving yards:3,853
Receiving touchdowns:38
Player stats at PFR

Hunter Henry (born December 7, 1994) is an American football tight end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Arkansas Razorbacks, earning unanimous All-American honors in 2015. Henry was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He was a member of the Chargers for five seasons before joining the Patriots in 2021.

Early life

Henry was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on December 7, 1994, to Mark and Jenny Henry. In summer 2000, his family moved to the Atlanta area for his father's job. Henry moved back to Little Rock for his freshman year of high school where he attended Pulaski Academy in Little Rock for four years.[2] As a freshman, Henry spent time playing offensive tackle, wide receiver, and defensive end for the football team. He did not play tight end during his high school career, because Pulaski Academy's Spread Offense scheme did not feature that position. Henry started his sophomore, junior, and senior years, winning a state championship with the Bruins in 2011.

Henry was named to the Parade All-America team for the 2012-13 school year and was one of the top recruits in the nation.[3]

College career

In 2015, Henry was involved in one of the most memorable plays in Arkansas football history. During a fourth-and-25 play in overtime against Ole Miss in the rivalry game, Henry caught a pass from quarterback Brandon Allen and upon seeing that he was going to be tackled short of the first down marker, Henry blindly flung the ball backwards as a lateral to running back Alex Collins. Collins picked it up on the bounce and ran it for a 31-yard gain to gain a first down. This set up an eventual touchdown and successful two-point conversion to win the game. The uniqueness of the play led to widespread media coverage and replays. He was the John Mackey Award winner for best tight end in the nation and also was a Consensus All-American in the 2015–2016 season.[4] Henry helped Arkansas win back-to-back bowl games in consecutive years for the first time in program history, beating former Southwest Conference rival the Texas Longhorns in the 2014 Texas Bowl, and winning the 2016 Liberty Bowl over the Kansas State Wildcats.[5]

On January 4, 2016, Henry declared he would be entering the 2016 NFL Draft.[6]

College statistics

Season Team Conf GP Receiving
Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2013 Arkansas SEC 10 28 409 14.6 66 4
2014 Arkansas SEC 12 37 513 13.9 54 2
2015 Arkansas SEC 13 51 739 14.5 79 3
Career 35 116 1,661 14.3 79 9

Professional career

Pre-draft

In early 2016, Henry was predicted to be a late first- to second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.[7][8] Henry skipped most physical drills at the NFL Combine but did compete in bench press with a position worst of 13 reps.[9] Henry managed to improve on his pro day by posting a 4.67 40 yard dash and completing 21 reps in the bench press establishing himself as one of the top tight ends in the 2016 NFL Draft.[10]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press Wonderlic
6 ft 4+78 in
(1.95 m)
250 lb
(113 kg)
32+34 in
(0.83 m)
9+14 in
(0.23 m)
4.68 s 1.60 s 2.74 s 4.41 s 7.16 s 31.5 in
(0.80 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
21 reps 28[11]
All values from NFL Combine and Pro Day[12][13]

San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers

2016 season

Henry was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round (35th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.[14] He was the first tight end to be selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. In addition, he was the first of five Arkansas Razorbacks to be selected that year.[15] On June 2, 2016, Henry and the Chargers agreed to a four-year, $6.38 million contract with $3.98 million guaranteed and a $2.84 million signing bonus.[16]

Henry entered training camp competing to be the backup tight end, against veterans Sean McGrath and Asante Cleveland. Henry was named the Chargers' third tight end on their depth chart to begin the regular season, behind longtime Pro Bowl veteran Antonio Gates and Sean McGrath.[17]

In his NFL debut against the Kansas City Chiefs, Henry made one receptions for 20 yards in the season-opening overtime loss.[18] The following week, he earned his first NFL start during a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.[19] During a Week 4 loss to the New Orleans Saints, he caught four passes for 61 yards and scored his first NFL touchdown on a 20-yard pass from quarterback Philip Rivers.[20] On October 13, 2016, Henry led all Chargers in receptions, making six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown in a 21–13 victory over the Denver Broncos.[21] On December 18, he caught three passes for 37 receiving yards and a touchdown during a 19–16 loss to the Oakland Raiders.[22] Henry has the distinction of catching the final touchdown of the Chargers' history in San Diego scoring a 12-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the 37–27 loss to Kansas City in the season finale.[23]

In his rookie season, Henry scored the second-most touchdowns by a rookie tight end in the last decade (only behind Rob Gronkowski), and scored the fifth-most touchdowns by a rookie tight end in NFL history.[24]

2017 season

During Week 15 against the Chiefs, Henry left the game with a knee injury. The next day, it was revealed that he suffered a lacerated kidney and was placed on injured reserve on December 19, 2017.[25] He finished the season with 45 receptions for 579 yards and four touchdowns.[26]

2018 season

On May 22, 2018, Henry suffered a torn ACL during organized team activities, and was ruled out for the entire season.[27] On September 1, 2018, he was placed on the physically unable to perform list, giving Henry a chance to return later in the season.[28] He was added to the active roster on January 7, 2019, ahead of their Divisional Round game, which they lost to the eventual Super Bowl LIII champion New England Patriots.[29]

2019 season

On September 11, 2019, it was announced that Henry suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee and would be out several weeks.[30] Henry made his return from injury in Week 6 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In that game, Henry caught eight passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns in the 24–17 loss.[31] Overall, Henry finished the 2019 season with 55 receptions for 652 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns.[32]

2020 season

The Chargers placed the franchise tag on Henry on March 13, 2020.[33] He signed the tag on April 16.[34] He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on December 24, 2020,[35] and activated on January 7, 2021.[36] He finished the 2020 season with 60 receptions for 613 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns.[37]

New England Patriots

On March 19, 2021, Henry signed a three-year, $37.5 million contract with the New England Patriots.[38][39] He scored his first touchdown for the Patriots in Week 4 during a 17–19 home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[40] Over the first 10 games, Henry caught seven touchdown passes, establishing himself as a frequent red zone target for rookie quarterback Mac Jones.[41] He finished the 2021 season with 50 receptions for 603 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns.[42]

Henry returned as the Patriots starting tight end in 2022. He finished the season with 41 catches for 509 yards and two touchdowns.[43]

On March 8, 2024, Henry signed a three-year contract extension with the Patriots.[44]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league (for tight ends)
Bold Career best
Year Team Games Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2016 SD 15 10 36 478 13.3 59 8 1 1
2017 LAC 14 13 45 579 12.9 34 4 0 0
2018 LAC 0 0 did not play due to injury
2019 LAC 12 12 55 652 11.9 30 5 1 1
2020 LAC 14 14 60 613 10.2 33 4 0 0
2021 NE 17 10 50 603 12.1 35 9 0 0
2022 NE 17 14 41 509 12.4 39 2 0 0
2023 NE 14 10 42 419 10.0 29 6 1 0
Career 103 83 329 3,853 11.7 59 38 3 2

Personal life

Henry's parents are Mark Henry and Jenny Henry, and they live in Little Rock. His father was an offensive lineman for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 19871991. He lettered four years for the Razorbacks.[45] Henry has three siblings; Hayden, Hudson and Hope. Hayden was a linebacker at Arkansas from 2017-2022. Hudson is a redshirt junior tight end also at the University of Arkansas.

Henry was married on June 30, 2018.[46] Hunter and his wife have one son and one daughter.[47]

Henry is a Christian. He has said, “I would say my faith is the most important thing to me. My dad is a pastor in Little Rock. I’ve grown up in a Christian background my whole life. My faith is the most important thing to me; that’s the one message that I want to convey to everybody.”[48]

References

  1. ^ "FWAA > News > Freshman All-America Team". www.sportswriters.net.
  2. ^ Melton, Matt (June 22, 2022). "Arkansas Football: Looking back at the Razorbacks career of Hunter Henry". South Bound & Down. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  3. ^ Meyers, Kate (February 3, 2013). "Meet The 2013 All-America High School Football Lineup". Parade. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Arkansas uses lateral play, 2-point conversion to upset Ole Miss in OT". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 8, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  5. ^ "Arkansas Razorbacks College Football History, Stats, Records". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  6. ^ Taylor, McGillis (January 3, 2016). "A Letter From Hunter Henry". Arkansas Razorbacks. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Zierlein, Lance (March 4, 2016). "Mock draft 3.0: Bosa falls to Bucs". NFL.com. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  8. ^ Reuter, Chad (March 7, 2016). "Mock draft 3.0: Texans take Hackenberg". NFL.com. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  9. ^ "Hunter Henry Draft Profile". NFL.com.
  10. ^ "Hogs Impress In Front Of All 32 NFL Teams". Arkansas Razorbacks Athletics. March 17, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  11. ^ "Rating the NFL draft prospects: Wide receivers and tight ends". NFL.com. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  12. ^ "Hunter Henry Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". National Football League. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  13. ^ "Hunter Henry, Arkansas, TE, 2016 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  14. ^ Henne, Ricky (April 29, 2016). "Chargers Draft Dynamic Arkansas Tight End Hunter Henry". Chargers.com. Archived from the original on August 16, 2017. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  15. ^ "2016 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  16. ^ "Spotrac.com:Hunter Henry contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  17. ^ "Ourlads.com: San Diego Charger's Depth Chart". ourlads.com. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  18. ^ "San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs - September 11th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  19. ^ "Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers - September 18th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  20. ^ "New Orleans Saints at San Diego Chargers - October 2nd, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  21. ^ "Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers - October 13th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  22. ^ "Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers - December 18th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  23. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers - January 1st, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  24. ^ "Player Season Finder Query Results - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  25. ^ Henne, Ricky (December 19, 2017). "Chargers Place Hunter Henry on IR". Chargers.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  26. ^ "Hunter Henry 2017 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  27. ^ Wesseling, Chris (May 22, 2018). "Hunter Henry suffers torn ACL in practice". NFL.com. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  28. ^ Henne, Ricky (September 1, 2018). "Chargers Cut Roster Down to 53". Chargers.com. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  29. ^ Henne, Ricky (January 7, 2019). "Hunter Henry Added to the Active Roster". Chargers.com. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  30. ^ Hagemann, Andie (September 11, 2019). "Chargers' Hunter Henry suffered left knee fracture". NFL.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  31. ^ "Steelers' Conner scores 2 TDs, Hodges wins first start". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 13, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  32. ^ "Hunter Henry 2019 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  33. ^ "Chargers Place Franchise Tag on Hunter Henry". Chargers.com. March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  34. ^ "Chargers' Hunter Henry: Long-term extension looming?". CBSSports.com. April 16, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  35. ^ Simmons, Myles (December 24, 2020). "Chargers place Hunter Henry on COVID-19 list". NBCSports.com. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  36. ^ "Chargers' Hunter Henry: Activated from COVID-19 list". CBSSports.com. January 7, 2021. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  37. ^ "Hunter Henry 2020 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  38. ^ Patra, Kevin (March 16, 2021). "Hunter Henry, Patriots agree to three-year, $37.5M deal". NFL.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  39. ^ "Patriots Sign 10 Free Agents". Patriots.com. March 19, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  40. ^ "Buccaneers vs. Patriots - Game Summary - October 4, 2021 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  41. ^ McKenna, Henry (November 14, 2021). "Hunter Henry has been the Patriots' best red zone threat since Rob Gronkowski". USA Today. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  42. ^ "Hunter Henry 2021 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  43. ^ "Hunter Henry 2022 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  44. ^ Reiss, Mike (March 8, 2024). "Source: Patriots, TE Hunter Henry agree to 3-year deal". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  45. ^ Davenport, Richard (September 8, 2019). "Elder Henry says recruiting now a different beast". Arkansas Online. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  46. ^ "Real Arkansas Wedding: Parker Schmidly of Fort Smith & Hunter Henry of Little Rock - Arkansas Bride". www.arkansasbride.com. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  47. ^ Ciccotelli, Jenna (December 10, 2021). "Patriots' Hunter Henry, Wife Parker Announce Birth Of Son Amid Bye Week". NESN.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  48. ^ Romano, Jason (November 28, 2017). "Chargers Hunter Henry plays for an audience of one". Sports Spectrum. Retrieved September 24, 2022.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hunter Henry.
  • Career statistics and player information from Yahoo! Sports · Pro Football Reference
  • New England Patriots bio
  • Arkansas Razorbacks bio
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