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Maryland Football

Henderson Inducted Into College Football Hall Of Fame

December 8, 2021

Press Release:

Las Vegas, NV – E.J. Henderson, the only two-time consensus First Team All-American in Maryland football history, was formally inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Tuesday evening.

Henderson, a consensus First Team All-American as both a junior and a senior, becomes the seventh Terrapin player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame. Other Maryland inductees include Bob Ward (1980), Jack Scarbath (1983), Dick Modzelewski (1993), Randy White (1994), Bob Pellegrini (1996) and Stan Jones (2000).

"Playing at Maryland was special because it was like the college dream," said Henderson. "When you go to college you want to play at the big time level, you want to play against the best and we got to live that life. Coach (Ralph) Friedgen was a big part of that, he came in and changed the culture. He put a lot of work behind what we were doing."

One of the best players in Maryland history, Henderson took home the 2002 Bednarik Award as the best defensive player in the nation and the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in college football. The Aberdeen, Maryland, native owns NCAA records for career solo tackles per game (8.8) and single-season solo tackles (135 in 2001) while boasting school marks for tackles for loss in a career (62.5) and single-season (28 in 2001). Henderson led Maryland in tackles his final three seasons en route to compiling 473 in his career, which rank second in Terrapins history.

As a junior, Henderson was named ACC Player of the Year after leading the conference in tackles per game (13.6) and tackles for loss (28). The two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year led Maryland to the 2001 ACC title, the team's first conference championship since 1985. Henderson and the Terps finished that season with a trip to the Orange Bowl, a No. 11 ranking and the school's first 10-win season since 1976. During his senior campaign, the two-time First Team All-ACC Selection capped off his career as the Defensive MVP in a 2002 Peach Bowl win over Tennessee that helped the Terps finish with a No. 13 national ranking. Henderson was inducted into the University of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.

A second-round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, Henderson played his entire nine-year career with the Minnesota Vikings. He was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2011 and was named the Minnesota Vikings Community Man of the Year in 2010.

Recognized by the State of Minnesota for exemplary community involvement, he established the E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation in 2007 to provide athletic and fitness programs, academic support and life skills lessons designed to help promote good choices and bright futures. Henderson also served as youth football manager for the Minnesota Vikings.

Henderson was joined in the 2020 class by fellow players Lomas Brown – OT, Florida (1981-84), Keith Byars – RB, Ohio State (1982-85), Eric Crouch – QB, Nebraska (1998-2001), Eric Dickerson – RB, Southern Methodist (1979-82), Glenn Dorsey – DT, LSU (2004-07), Jumbo Elliott – OT, Michigan (1984-87), Jason Hanson – PK, Washington State (1988-91), E.J. Junior – DE, Alabama (1977-80), Steve McNair – QB, Alcorn State (1991-94), Cade McNown – QB, UCLA (1995-98), Leslie O'Neal – DT, Oklahoma State (1982-85), Anthony Poindexter – DB, Virginia (1995-98), David Pollack – DE, Georgia (2001-04), Bob Stein – DE, Minnesota (1966-68), Michael Westbrook – WR, Colorado (1991-94), Elmo Wright – WR, Houston (1968-70) and coaches Dick Sheridan – Furman (1978-85), North Carolina State (1986-92) and Andy Talley – St. Lawrence [NY] (1979-83), Villanova (1985-2016).

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