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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Erin Henderson to leave for the NFL

Maryland linebacker Erin Henderson, a Butkus award semi-finalist, announced yesterday that he's throwing his hat into the ring of the NFL Draft. The move was definitely not expected - the possibility was lurking throughout the season and his exit was probably hastened by threat of injury and the idea that he has nothing left to prove. Plus, it was kind of a big hint that he just graduated at the end of last semester.

In a statement to the press, he said:

After the first four or five games [this season], I kind of already knew," Henderson said. "But I just didn't want it to be a media thing.

That makes sense. I think it shows a lot of maturity that someone could be so tight-lipped about such a personal decision to honor the interests of a team. I'm pretty sure he didn't talk about it at all until after the regular season. I felt that often, Erin Henderson seemed to be the only person on the field who wrapped up correctly and could stop the run. It says a lot about him that he always tried when he was on the field and played despite multiple injuries that could've endangered his future. Henderson led the ACC in tackles per game with 11.1 this season, as reported by the Diamondback. I only wish him a bright future and acknowledge that this is the smartest thing he could've done for himself.

Dave Philistin
will likely be the replacement as leader of the linebacking corps and the defense. He, too, can tackle, as demonstrated by his 21 tackles against Georgia Tech this season. Actually, the Terps defense is set to lose a bunch of seniors at defensive tackle and in the secondary. We'll see how that one goes. I think the Fridge is going to have another interesting year in 2008.

Photo Credits: Washington Post, Washington Post Express

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