Miami Hurricanes offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson is an enigma.
He was considered a can’t-miss prospect, and was recruited by every major college in America. Eventually, he chose USC, but when the NCAA Infractions Committee hammered USC, he asked to be released from his letter of intent. Instead, he signed with Miami, but publicly announced the Canes were only his “second choice.”
Hurricanes fans were thrilled — not because of that comment, of course. But he reminded many of former Hurricane and current All Pro Bryant McKinnie. Henderson started nine games his freshman season for Miami, but while he looked good, he never had any flashes of greatness. Often, he seemed to be getting by on pure talent, but wasn’t putting in much effort. He underwent offseason surgery on his back, and it clearly bothered him the following season. He saw action in only eight games and only started two. Privately, coaches and trainers were frustrated by his lack of dedication to rehab. He seemed to be using his injury as an excuse to not play or work very hard.
Then the off-the-field issues began. He was suspended for the first week of spring practice and the first game of the 2012 season against the Maryland Terrapins for “violating team rules.” Allegedly, he had been skipping weightlifting sessions, and lying about it to the coaches. That August, Henderson was involved in a car accident that sent two children to the hospital and left him with a concussion. He was charged with running a red light and driving with an expired license. On top of that, he returned home for the funeral of a friend, but stayed home in Minnesota several days longer than he had told head coach Al Golden he was going to. He missed the first twelve practices of the season, but returned to start seven games for Miami at right tackle.
This season, Henderson is in the mix to start at right tackle. That’s the rub. This is a kid who was a five-start recruit who should have started every game at left tackle, the glamour position of the offensive line. But due to his lack of drive, a prima-donna attitude and penchant for milking injuries, so at this point, he is still battling for playing time. Despite all of this, Henderson has still stated he believes he is a “potential first rounder.”
That is the problem. He has been told how great he is, but has never had to work for it. For him, college was just a minor inconvenience on the way to the NFL. He still hasn’t figured out that isn’t the case. He might be drafted next season based on talent alone, but his sense of entitlement will ensure a brief career.