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Arkansas Gatorade POY Joe Himon heads to Northwestern

Joe Himon II is ready to help lead the Wildcats rushing attack in 2022. (Credit: @JosephHimon/Twitter/NU Athletics)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BVM) — Three years as a starter and three state championships later, the 2021-22 Gatorade Arkansas Football Player of the Year Joe Himon II is ready to continue his dominant streak at Northwestern University. 

“Winning three straight championships meant a lot to me because in this community winning is a priority,” Himon said. “And it brings me joy to see this community happy with our performances on the football field.”

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound running back helped the Pulaski Bruins to a 12-1 overall record and an appearance in the Class 5A state championship game. Along with a state championship in his senior year, Himon finished with 1,511 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns. Along with the running attack, Himon proved to be a threat receiving the ball. He caught 76 passes for 844 yards and 11 TDs. 

“Winning Gatorade Player of the Year meant a lot to me,” Himon said. “Growing up it was always a dream of mine to win that award and I couldn’t have done it without God, my family, my teammates and my coaches.”

Ever since his sophomore year, all eyes have been on Himon and game plans have been developed to stop him. But none have ever been successful. Himon finished with 7,602 all-purpose yards (second in Arkansas history for a non-quarterback) and 83 TDs (first in state history).

Along with his individual success, Himon has helped the Pulaski Bruins continue their winning ways. For three years, Himon and the Bruins only lost three games, winning 93% of their games.

Coming into varsity football [at Pulaski Academy] I knew it would be a challenge to uphold a high standard and it meant a lot to me to keep that winning tradition going,” Himon said.

In addition to his success on the field, Himon also has proved to be a great worker off the field. He has averaged a 3.5 GPA and has volunteered for the Watershed Human and Community Development Agency and other youth sports around Little Rock. 

Now with his remarkable prep career behind him, Himon is ready for the next challenge: helping Northwestern capture a Big Ten title for the first time since 2000. He had other offers from Missouri, Louisville and other colleges but decided to sign with Coach Pat Fitzgerald’s squad.

There’s a reason why Himon was ranked as a four-star athlete coming out of Arkansas. He puts in the work and the results speak for themselves. As the Wildcats prepare for the 2022 season, expect Himon to compete for a starting role as soon as he steps on to campus.

“Joe Himon is an excellent running back with outstanding ball skills which makes him a dual threat, both running and receiving,” Little Rock Christian High School head football coach Eric Cohu said in a Gatorade press release. “He’s an exceptional athlete and competitor.”

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