Josey: "I’m really excited to have a chance to play professionally and work on fulfilling a dream I’ve had since I was a little kid."— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) January 7, 2014
I mentioned last week before the Cotton Bowl that we should probably be taking seriously the idea that Henry Josey could go pro after this season, and that it really might be the best thing for him. After evidently talking to both his grandma and Gary Pinkel, Josey has indeed decided to declare. He finishes his career with 2,771 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns.
There's really nothing left to say about Henry than we've already said over the past couple of years. He has been the perfect representative for Missouri's football program, soft-spoken and unassuming and letting his play do his talking for him. We liked him before his knee injury, and we loved him after it. He could have quit football after 2011, and he could have transferred back to be closer to his son in Texas. Instead, he stuck with Missouri and served first as a motivator for a team in transition, then as a leader for a team that went 12-2, won the SEC East, and finished fifth in the country.
I was hoping he would come back for a victory lap in 2014, but I know why he's not, and he honestly has nothing left to prove to Mizzou fans. He's given them all he possibly could already. It's time for him to make some money playing the game he loves; Missouri will be here for him when he's done.
Good luck, Henry.
The agonizing rehab process that claimed his entire 2012 season.
Then the comeback that has been one of the more remarkable stories in college sports this year. The comeback that earned Josey a permanent place in the hearts of the black-and-gold faithful.
The comeback that helped propel the No. 9 Tigers on this hard-to-believe journey during a 2013 season that concluded with an improbable 41-31 come-from-behind win over No. 13 Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl late Saturday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Josey, the small-town kid who grew up a couple hundred miles south in Angleton, Texas, ran for a game-high 92 yards and scored three touchdowns, the last of which, a 16-yarder with 3:08 remaining, helped the Tigers overcome their first deficit and take the lead for the final time, a lead their defense would make sure not to relinquish.
The redshirt junior running back was selected as the game's Offensive Most Valuable Player as Missouri finished its bounce back season with a 12-2 record and a lifetime of memories.