Hen­der­son leav­ing for NFL, will skip bowl game

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND - By Edgar Thomp­son

GAINESVILL­E — UF corner­back CJ Hen­der­son an­nounced he will skip his fi­nal sea­son with the Ga­tors, as well as the team’s bowl game, to en­ter the 2020 NFL draft.

Hen­der­son, a ju­nior from Miami, is pro­jected in many mock drafts to be a firstround se­lec­tion in April due to his ex­pe­ri­ence, ball skills and abun­dant phys­i­cal gifts.

Hen­der­son an­nounced his de­ci­sion on his Twit­ter ac­count.

He wrote: “I am truly blessed to be in this po­si­tion. The best part about be­ing a Ga­tor is that they will be there for me the rest of my life. … I will miss that feel­ing of run­ning out of The Swamp on Satur­day to 90,000 strong, but I know the Ga­tor Na­tion is be­hind me.”

“I am ex­cited to be one step closer to turn­ing my life­long dream into re­al­ity. Go Ga­tors!”

Hen­der­son led UF with 11 pass breakups de­spite missing three games with an an­kle in­jury but did not have the kind of sea­son many ex­pected. He al­lowed five pass com­ple­tions of at least 40 yards; UF al­lowed just seven as a team.

His tack­ling abil­ity is another ques­tion mark.

Even so, dur­ing 34 games at UF, in­clud­ing 27 starts, Hen­der­son recorded 83 tack­les, six in­ter­cep­tions, in­clud­ing two pick-sixes as a fresh­man, and 22 pass breakups. He also had seven tack­les for loss and forced two fum­bles.

The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Hen­der­son is sure to test ex­tremely well at the NFL Scout­ing Com­bine. This past sum­mer, UF re­leased some eye-pop­ping num­bers from Hen­der­son’s train­ing ses­sions: a 10-foot, 4-inch broad jump, 40.5-inch ver­ti­cal leap, 545-pound squat lift and 380-pound bench press. He also is con­sid­ered by his team­mates to be the fastest Ga­tor.

Add it all up and ESPN draft an­a­lyst Todd McShay rates Hen­der­son the 10th-best prospect in the 2020 draft.

PHE­LAN M. EBENHACK/AP

UF corner­back CJ Hen­der­son led the Ga­tors with 11 pass breakups this sea­son, his fi­nal one with the team af­ter his de­ci­sion to en­ter the NFL draft.

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