Thursday, January 03, 2008

Henderson departs

Erin Henderson announced that he will leave Maryland and enter the NFL draft this spring. The junior linebacker has already earned a degree in communications and was considered the most dominant linebacker in the ACC this season. He finished this season with 133 tackles and 11 tackles for a loss to go four fumble recoveries. It earned him a 1st team All-ACC selection at linebacker and the most votes at the position. Henderson earned 2nd team All-ACC in his sophomore season with 114 tackles, 6.5 for a loss, and two interceptions including one for a touchdown against Virginia that may have saved the Terp's season.

Erin was probably more athletic and better in pass coverage than his older brother EJ but wasn't as instinctive or strong and lacked EJ's incredible flair for big plays. He has graded out as a third round pick in the NFL draft and assuming he checks out medically that is around where he will be picked. He battled some nagging injuries all season but was a productive player even if his play fell of slightly at the end of the year.

He probably could have been a threat on blitzes but coordinator Chris Cosh didn't use Henderson in that role as much.

Maryland has some very good young linebackers in Dave Philistin, Adrian Moten, Alex Wujciak and Chris Clinton along with returning seniors Moise Fokou, Chase Bullock and Rick Costa. Costa does have some injury concerns but it is a deep and talented group. The bigger concern is if any of the players on the defensive line can get the job done in front of them. This isn't a group that you want to let the opponents offensive line get to at the second level. They need to flow free and pursue the ball carrier.

Wide receivers coach Bryan Bossard was let go by Ralph Friedgen after three seasons. It didn't seem like an amicable split but it does free up come cash for James Franklin who will probably do double duty as coordinator and wide receivers coach. He may have some challenges as Darrius Heyward-Bey is the only proven producer of the group. Isaiah Williams has talent but seems to want to be the chuckle head of the group for shooting his mouth off too much and not producing. They will also have two receivers coming off injury in Danny Oquendo and LaQuan Williams, who looked good before getting injured. The lack of development of Adrian Cannon and Tony Logan, Terrell Skinner could not have helped Bossard keep his job. Maryland also has talented tight ends in Drew Gloster and Lansford Watson that need some development with senior Joey Haynos departing.

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