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Malik Henry dominates arena football after ‘Last Chance U’
Malik Henry led the National Arena League in passing yards (3,116) and passing touchdowns (60) during the 2023 season as he led the Carolina Cobras to the 2023 NAL Championship. (Photo: Carolina Cobras)

Malik Henry dominates arena football after ‘Last Chance U’

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BVM) – Malik Henry is one of the most polarizing figures to ever appear on the hit Netflix series “Last Chance U” and just wrapped up arguably the best football season of his career.

Playing in the National Arena League (NAL) for the Carolina Cobras, Henry posted a league-high 3,116 passing yards, 60 passing touchdowns and led his team to the 2023 NAL championship game. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback star threw for 280 yards and five touchdowns in the title game but Henry’s Cobras fell to his former team – the Jacksonville Sharks – in the championship.

Perhaps Henry’s most impressive showing of the 2023 season was a June 10 matchup with the West Texas Warbirds. The former “Last Chance U” star threw 10 touchdowns – an NAL record – to go along with 371 passing yards during an 86-59 win.

Malik Henry
Malik Henry led the National Arena League in passing yards (3,116) and passing touchdowns (60) during the 2023 season as he led the Carolina Cobras to the 2023 NAL Championship. (Photo: Carolina Cobras)

Henry’s talent has never been a question dating back to his time at Long Beach Poly High School (Class of 2016) when he chose to play football for Florida State and then-head coach Jimbo Fisher over offers from Auburn, Notre Dame, Ohio State and others. However, the former four-star recruit spent just one season (2016) in Tallahassee before transferring to Independence Community College (Kansas) where he would become a focus of seasons three and four (2017-18) of “Last Chance U.”

After two seasons at Independence – where he played in 12 games for the Pirates and threw for 1,620 yards and 11 passing touchdowns – Henry finished his collegiate career at the University of Nevada. He played in three games for the Wolf Pack after being offered a walk-on spot for the 2019 season.

Injuries thrust Henry into the starting role and in his first FBS start, he led the Wolf Pack to a thrilling 41-38 win over San Jose State on Oct. 12, 2019. Henry completed 22-of-37 passes for 352 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He started the next game against Utah State, struggled, and was removed from on-field participation by Nevada head coach Jay Norvell to focus on academics and his personal life. Henry never returned to practice and didn’t enroll in classes for the spring semester.

After not being seen on a football field since that 2019 season, Henry re-emerged in 2021 with the Frisco Fighters of the Indoor Football League (IFL). He finished his rookie campaign with 76 completions for 778 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns before signing with the Sharks of the NAL in 2022 and eventually leading the Cobras to the championship game in August.

It’s been a wild football journey for one of the most recognizable “Last Chance U” stars. Now, Henry is undoubtedly one of the best quarterbacks in the NAL.

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