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Mizzou Memories: Q&A with Henry Josey

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Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the former Mizzou running back Henry Josey. Josey opened up about his decision to leave Mizzou early for the draft, as well as his gruesome injury and what it was like to balance fatherhood, while also being a division one athlete.

Henry Josey vs. Texas A&M Bill Carter

How hard of a decision was it to stay at Mizzou after the birth of your son?

My decision was not hard at all; I knew that to better my life as a man, I needed to stay at Mizzou. In order for me to make his life better, I stayed in school. Once he was older, I was able to bring him to school with me and actually let him see what I was doing and why I was not home for months at a time and everything went up from there.

Following your injury versus Texas, did you ever contemplate whether or not you'd made a mistake by deciding to stay at Mizzou?

Not at all. I love Mizzou and it's a place that will always be home. Mizzou is the best family away from family; another place you can always call home and I will for life.

How were you able to use your son as motivation during your post-injury recovery?

Life was very simple for me once I had my son. I live each day for him so that he can have a better life. He was brought up so much at Mizzou that he was basically a part of my journey, whether he was there or not. I never wanted him to look at me and see a sense of hurt or failure. I had to get up and show him any dream is possible and you have to be able to fight, no matter the road you might have to take in life. I enjoyed recovery knowing there was light—and my son--at the end of the tunnel.

How were you able to balance being a D-1 athlete with having a son? How did you make that work?

I had a lot of good people around me; my family and my Mizzou family helped me out when I needed it. When my son [came] up to games and stayed with me during the summer, I was able to work around things and bring him to the field to watch.

Following your injury, when did you realize that you were back?

That's a tricky question. I always felt like I was back. I was that guy that--once I started advancing--would try things on my own that I was not supposed to be doing. But it made my journey with my training staff so much more fun to be a part of. All playing aside, spring football was when I knew and felt that I was ok to go again.

Why did you choose to forego your senior year and enter the NFL Draft?

I had a great opportunity to be a good round selection. I knew it was going to come down to me being healthy and or something happening to my knee again. I prayed, made a decision and I'm more than proud how things turned out. I'm still playing the game I love by the grace of God when there was only talk of me being able to walk again without a limp.

What kind of feedback did you receive from scouts about where you could possibly be taken?

Anywhere from 4th to 7th [round].

So why not come back and try to improve on that your senior year?

It was a decision that I made to leave early. I was thankful and blessed to get an opportunity to return to playing football and then I had an opportunity to play professionally so I took the shot and I love the decision I made to go pro.

Henry Josey went undrafted in the 2014 draft, but was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite a very strong preseason showing, in which he averaged 6.6 yards per carry, Josey was cut by the Eagles. The Jacksonville Jaguars immediately signed Josey to their practice squad. Josey remained with Jacksonville, until he was signed by the Minnesota Vikings on December 24th 2014. After the season concluded, he was released by the Vikings. Josey then took his talents to the Canadian football league, where he remains as a member of the Toronto Argonauts.

How are things going in Canada?

I love Canada; another new beginning. New places to see and great coaches and teammates. It's football what's not to love about being able to play a game you love that many doubted that you would ever return to play. I'm more than thankful and appreciate the opportunity every day to show and play a game I love and call it a job.

What adjustments did you have to your game and even just your personal life when you went to Canada?

No major adjustments that I had to through. At the end of the day, it's still football. The only thing that took a little longer was the pass protection which was so much more different and advanced.

Is the NFL still a goal that you are striving towards?

It's a goal I've captured and when I get an opportunity to go back I may take it, but I'm never worried about that. I've come a long way to get where I am today and I continue to follow God's plan for me. Five years later I'm still able to do what I love and call it a job.

What was your favorite moment/game at Mizzou?

[I have] too many favorites. It was amazing to be a part of my comeback with the best fans in the country; it was an even better feeling to be a guy that finished our last home game against A&M with a big touchdown winning score to clinch the east.

I noticed that you often speak of how blessed you are and how God brought you through. Did you develop your relationship with god post injury? How were you able to keep the faith while facing so much adversity?

Absolutely; I've always had faith. It just was how much are you paying attention to everything that's going on, on top of balancing everyday life. I had doubts when I was injured, but at the end of the day I had to wake up and realize who was holding me together truly and the faith that I had in him was the strength that I needed to endure all of the things I was going through.

Often times, we hear former players and coaches refer to being Mizzou Made, so what does it actually mean to be Mizzou Made?

Mizzou Made is not just something you say it's a code that only Mizzou or Missouri people will understand. It's a culture that has been built and passed on for a lifetime. Everyone is your brother or your sister; we're all family. WE can do or overcome anything in life because WE are Mizzou made.