Delaware’s Henderson Declares for NFL Draft

University of Pittsburgh alumni Quadree Henderson has declared for the NFL Draft.

University of Pittsburgh alumni Quadree Henderson has declared for the NFL Draft.

Rhys Levine, Sports Editor

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One of Delaware’s most accomplished athletes is taking his talents to the professional level, entering the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. Former Alexis I. duPont High School wide receiver and return specialist Quadree Henderson has opted out of his final college season and has his sights set on every aspiring professional football player’s dream: an NFL roster spot.

Henderson, whose explosiveness and pure speed dominated special teams defenses from high ranking national teams, looks to become one of the NFL’s next great return-men, and his college accolades show his vast potential to be the next NFL great. Henderson was named both an ACC First Team All-Conference and a Consensus First-Team All American in his sophomore year as one of the country’s best kick returners. He also finished the 2016 campaign as the FBS statistical champion in combined kick return yards and kickoff returns for touchdown. 2017 saw Henderson pick up where he left off the prior year, being named to the All-ACC Second Team Offense, as well as receiving a defensive honorable mention. However, Henderson’s skill on the football field is far from the only thing that sets him apart from his peers.

Mark Alley, who coached Henderson at A.I. as a wide receiver and defensive back, characterized his personality as “Humble, but with a strong work ethic.”

“He has a really, really good heart, and is a kind person to talk to,” said  Zebulun Blum, A.I.’s current varsity football coach. “On the field, he never showboats, he’s never in the news for anything negative. When he reaches that level I know he can reach, I don’t think that there will be anybody who will represent the community better.”

For a man and player of Henderson’s caliber, it is possible to find signs of compassion and kindness everywhere you look. To Henderson, the number “10” isn’t to emulate a former great or childhood hero, but rather, a hero he met in one of Wilmington’s youth football leagues. As a young man playing both youth and high school football, Henderson’s talent on the gridiron gained him various admirers, especially younger players looking for a positive role model.

One of these admirers was Chad Jones II, who began a lifelong friendship with Henderson, bonding over football and life’s intimidating challenges. In 2012, Henderson’s sophomore year at A.I., when Jones was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma, Henderson took it upon himself to pay tribute to his ailing friend. In a move that surprised even Jones, Henderson changed his number to match Jones’ and continued to use the number during his college career. So when Henderson gets his pads and jersey on prior to any game, he doesn’t wear is heart on his sleeve, but rather in the gold “10” resting on his chest.

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Delaware’s Henderson Declares for NFL Draft