Already ranking second in LSU
history for career touchdown receptions with (19), Henderson was a second-team,
all-SEC pick for the second year in a row leading the league in touchdown grabs
in 2003 with 11.
However, as Henderson’s career in
Baton Rouge came to a close with a national championship, the Opelousas native
prepares to make the jump to the next level.
He took the first giant leap
Saturday night with an impressive performance in the Senior Bowl, played at
Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile.
Playing for the South squad,
Henderson made quite a splash at the senior showcase challenging for Most
Valuable Player honors with five catches for 120 yards. Had it not been from an
impressive performance by teammate, quarterback Philip Rivers, Henderson might
have brought home the hardware. But the N.C. State signal caller completed 12 of
19 passes for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns leading the South in 28-10 romp
of the North.
“I just wanted to show everyone
that even though I’m 250 pounds I can do almost everything,” Rivers said. “I try
to do everything and I want to do everything, and I want to be the
Rivers was not shy going to
Henderson, who hauled in a 67-yard bomb from the Wolf Pack senior. Ironically,
Henderson spun his way around Oklahoma’s Derrick Strait on a reception setting
up Rivers’ first touchdown pass, a 19-yard pitch and catch to Arkansas tailback
Henderson’s 67-yard set the stage
for the South’s third touchdown of the first quarter and a 21-0 lead. On the
initial play following Henderson’s catch, Miami’s Greg Jones rumbled into the
end zone from 16 yards away.
“On the 65 (actually 67) yard
throw, he (Rivers) really put the ball up over 55 yards on that pass,” said Todd
McShay from ESPN.com. “But his timing was incredible. Henderson was only 17
yards down the field and when you don't have elite strength you can make up for
it with great timing. So far, there is no question Rivers was the MVP with
Henderson a close second.”
Henderson is projected as a late
third, early fourth round pick in April’s NFL Draft. However, Saturday could
improve the status of the LSU senior receiver, blessed with sprinter
Three other Tigers joined Henderson
in Mobile, including star defensive tackle Chad Lavalais,
offensive lineman Stephen Peterman
and punter Donnie Jones.
faced double and triple teams all night. (Dennis Hodges)
Lavalais, the all-everything leader
of the Tigers heralded defense, did little to impress anyone.
However, the 6-3, 295-pound
projected first rounder faced double, sometimes triple teams most of the
evening. Lavalais did serve as a team captain for the South.
Peterman is one of the highest
rated linemen in the SEC and is expected to be taken on the first day of the
While specialists are rarely
grabbed in the draft, Jones punted five times for 223 yards, with a long of 46
yards. However, one shanked punt that carried barely 20 yards was quite an