As soon as Henry Parrish could check his phone following Columbus’ season-opening win against Belen Jesuit last month, he knew his signature play from a 300-yard performance was going to garner plenty of attention.
By the end the Explorers’ win at Tropical Park in Miami, videos of his tackle-busting, 27-yard touchdown run had thousands of retweets. Now they easily number in the hundreds of thousands.
Parrish’s phone just kept buzzing throughout the evening with people commenting and sharing footage of the touchdown. A few of those messages told the three-star running back his play had made it onto “SportsCenter.” He couldn’t believe it.
“It was amazing because me growing up, I always used to watch “SportsCenter,” and I was hoping to be on it one day, and my dream finally came,” said Parrish, who was a first-team all-Miami-Dade County selection by the Miami Herald last season. “I seen it all over social media. Everybody’d been tagging me, so I’m looking.”
Parrish’s play landed at No. 2 on the ESPN show’s Top 10 and landed Columbus’ weight room a flashy new plaque to commemorate the run. As part of a new “Home of SC Top 10” initiative by “SportsCenter,” the show picked 10 amateur plays from the last year to honor, and Parrish’s viral run made the cut. On Friday, ESPN came to the Columbus High weight room in Miami to install a glowing neon sign, which ESPN said is supposed to invoke the spirit of South Florida.
“Henry’s powerful run and our hometown of Miami are the inspiration for the neon sign bursting through the wall of the weight room,” an ESPN press release read. “Henry probably could run through the wall as the neon suggests, but Henry please don’t try.”
Parrish, who is orally committed to the Pittsburgh Panthers, got calls from his future Pittsburgh coaches congratulating him. He became a recognizable name overnight.
Two viewers were most special to Parrish, though. In the days after the play took over the internet, Parrish saw New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon both commented on the play on social media. Parrish, a three-star prospect in the 247Sports.com composite rankings, was nearly brought to tears.
“I was so excited, I was going to cry,” Parrish said.
Parrish’s recognition from “SportsCenter” isn’t over. The senior will be featured on the show again in October as part of ESPN’s “SC Top 10 Day.”
It’s a great year for running backs in the Miami metropolitan area. Parrish thinks this is just another reason why he’s the best of the bunch.
“I feel like I’m the best back in Dade, to be honest. Nobody can compare with me,” Parrish said. “I just love to compete, so it ain’t really too much.”