If you briefly glanced at the screen and saw the name “Gore” on the back of a Kansas City Chiefs running back’s jersey, you might think that you’d landed in an alternate reality. Or maybe you’d missed something, and the Chiefs had signed five-time Pro Bowler Frank Gore following his brief and unwise foray into boxing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither are the case. The No. 40 jersey belongs to Derrick Gore, but is he the son of legendary RB Frank?
Is Derrick Gore Frank Gore’s son?
No. Derrick Gore isn’t Frank Gore’s son. Derrick Gore isn’t related to Frank Gore in any way.
Frank Gore does have a football-playing son, though, and his name leaves little room for confusion. Frank Gore Jr. is a running back at the University of Southern Mississippi, the current member of Conference USA that has announced they will become members of the Sun Belt Conference in 2023.
Gore Jr. has played two seasons at Southern Mississippi. He ran 121 times for 708 yards and 2 touchdowns as a true freshman. He also had 9 receptions for 9 yards and another score. In 2021, he again led the team in rushing with 179 carries for 801 yards and 5 TDs. Additionally, he improved his receiving numbers, catching 20 passes for 155 yards.
Frank Gore Jr. will be draft-eligible following the 2022 college football season. That means that, if he declares, he could be selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.
So who is Derrick Gore?
Derrick Gore is a 27-year-old running back who went undrafted after not being selected in the 2019 NFL Draft. Although a preseason injury saw him miss the season, he began his collegiate career at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. Nevertheless, he walked on at SEC powerhouse Alabama, winning a national championship in 2015. After two years of limited opportunities, he opted to transfer in search of more playing time. That took him to Louisiana-Monroe, where he led the team in rushing in both 2017 and 2018.
Gore signed with the Los Angeles Chargers after his name wasn’t called in the 2019 NFL Draft. He spent the preseason with the team before being released during the final round of cuts. Gore bounced around between practice squads for the Chargers and Washington Football Team over the next two seasons before signing with the Chiefs. It looked as if his time in Kansas City would follow a similar path — he again spent time on the practice squad. But on October 12, 2021, he was finally called up to the active roster.
Gore has been used predominantly as a backup since making his debut in Week 6. He’s been a reliable option when called upon, though. Gore finished the regular season with 51 rushing attempts for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns, adding 8 receptions for 105 yards through the air.
He joins Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, and Jerick McKinnon on the running back depth chart. At times this season, the Chiefs have alternated between running backs, but Gore has seen touches more often than not. He may not be a descendant of Frank, and it’s unlikely that he’ll ever reach the heights of his namesake, but Derrick Gore is writing his own story in the NFL.