De’Angelo Henderson has chosen his number with the Denver Broncos, and it has some significance.
The most prolific running back in Coastal Carolina history has chosen No. 33, posting on Twitter that it is in honor of his former frat brother, Anthony Frye.
Henderson, who was selected by Denver in the sixth round of the NFL Draft on April 29, was No. 31 at CCU. That number is held defensively by Broncos third-year safety Justin Simmons, formerly of Boston College.
Henderson dedicated the 2016 season at CCU to Frye and each game he wrote on tape wrapped around his wrists “Frye” and “33.” Frye was an older Omega Psi Phi Fraternity brother and former CCU running back who wore No. 33. He died in a motorcycle accident on March 2, 2016.
According to Henderson, Frye had just left Henderson and others and was on his way home to his girlfriend and newborn child when he collided with an SUV.
Henderson was sent home from a workout in the days after the crash because he was so distraught.
Henderson said of Frye near the end of last season, “I love him so much. He's a wonderful person, a wonderful guy. He was so unselfish, was just a guy you wanted to be around. He had a good vibe and good spirit and taught me a lot.”
Every time Henderson dons his Broncos jersey, he’ll be both thankful and motivated.
“Whenever I look at his name or look at his picture it makes me feel so appreciative of everything I've got,” Henderson said. “It makes me think about all the stuff we talked about football-wise and future, all motivational stuff.
“It makes me think about how much he believed in me.”
Henderson, nicknamed ‘Hop,’ becomes the 24th player in team history to wear 33, and no one has worn it more than four consecutive years. The list includes cornerback Jimmy Spencer (2000-03) and running backs Joe Dawkins (1971-73), Gene Lang (1984-87), Tony Dorsett (1988) and Rod Bernstine (1993-95).
Most recently, defensive back Shiloh Keo wore No. 33 in 2015 and 2016. He is now with the New Orleans Saints.
Broncos No. 33
Players who have worn No. 33 with the Denver Broncos
De’Angelo Henderson RB 2017
Shiloh Keo S 2015-16
Duke Ihenacho S 2012-13
Nate Jones CB 2010
Alphonso Smith CB 2009
Marquand Manuel S 2008
Ron Dayne RB 2005
Jimmy Spencer CB 2000-03
John Avery RB 1999
Dedrick Dodge S 1997
Rod Bernstine RB 1993-95
Robert Perryman FB 1991-92
Tony Dorsett RB 1988-89
Gene Lang RB 1984-87
Lawrence McCutcheon RB 1980
Lonnie Perrin RB 1976
Jim Kiick RB 1976-77
Joe Dawkins RB 1971-73
Willis Crenshaw FB 1970
Hub Lindsey QB 1968
Wendell Hayes HB 1966-67
Justin Rowland HB 1962
Fred Bukaty FB 1961
Pete Mangum LB 1960