Erin Henderson # LB
Height: 6-3 Weight: 244 Age: 28
Born: 7/1/1986 Aberdeen , MD
Experience: 7th season
High School: Aberdeen HS [MD]
Henderson was the school's first Playbay All-American (2007) selection since his brother, E.J., was chosen to that same squad in 2002. The consummate team player, he made the switch from quarterback to linebacker in 2004, growing from a 205-pound passer into the 236-pound terror on the playing field he has become over the last two years.
A true warrior, he has battled left knee problems ever since sitting out the 2005 campaign due to an anterior cruciate ligament tear. In 2007, he spent most of the practice weeks on the sideline with a meniscus tear and anterior cruciate ligament sprain in the same knee, putting forth a valiant effort on the field.
The Terrapins have had a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference linebacker in five of the last seven seasons. Henderson's brother, E.J., (2001-02), and D'Qwell Jackson (2004-05) were first-team choices. Erin, who also received All-ACC, All-American and Butkus Award semifinalist recognition as a junior, finishing his two-year career with 247 tackles, leading the conference in tackles in 2007 while ranking second the previous season.
At Aberdeen High School, Henderson was a four-year starter who played quarterback and linebacker, excelling on both sides of the ball. He was named Baltimore Sun Player of the Year as a senior, and he was also a first-team All-State (Associated Press), All-Metro (Baltimore Sun) and All-County honors. As a junior, he was the Associated Press All-State middle linebacker and Mid-Atlantic All-Region pick by Super Prep. He added All-Region accolades by Prep Star and ranked the sixth-best inside linebacker in the country by ESPN.com's Tom Lemming.
In 2003, Henderson completed 84-of-155 passes for 1,580 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions, leading his team to its first state championship. He also ran for 883 yards with eight touchdowns while posting a team-high 138 tackles and two interceptions. His best game may have been in the state 2A semifinals when he threw for three scores on a sprained ankle, bringing his team back from an 18-point deficit.
Henderson gained 1,005 yards with 15 touchdowns passing, ran for 350 yards and six scores and averaged over 13 tackles per game as a junior. He also lettered in basketball as a small forward and performed as a sprinter on the track team.
Henderson was recruited by Virginia, Purdue and North Carolina, but decided to enroll at Maryland in 2004. He spent the first part of the season on the scout team as a quarterback before shifting to outside linebacker at midseason. He was primed to take over weak-side outside linebacker duties in 2005, but suffered a torn knee ligament two weeks into August camp and was forced to sit out the entire season.
In 2006, he started 12 games at weak-side linebacker, earning second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. He led the team and ranked second in the league with 114 tackles (54 solos), including a sack and 6.5 stops for losses. He also caused three fumbles and intercepted a pair of passes, returning one for a touchdown.
Despite battling knee problems all year (missed the Georgia Tech game), Henderson led the ACC and ranked ninth in the nation with 133 tackles (59 solos), adding a sack and eleven stops behind the line of scrimmage. The All-American and All-ACC first-team pick also recovered four fumbles, picked off a pass and deflected two others while also gaining 12 yards on a fake punt.
After the Emerald Bowl, Henderson announced that he was leaving Maryland and applying for the 2008 NFL Draft. "After discussing the matter with my family in recent days, we felt like the time was right to take the next step," Henderson said in a statement. "The fact that he graduates leans toward him coming out," head coach Ralph Friedgen said of his linebacker, who already has graduated. "I really can't complain when a guy's got a degree. I just want to make sure he gets the most bang for his buck."