As expected, Florida cornerback CJ Henderson has called it a career in Gainesville.
The junior announced on twitter that he will not play out his fourth year of eligibility with the Gators, and will be leaving early for the NFL Draft. He will not play in Florida’s bowl game.
Henderson’s draft stock varies depending on who you ask, but most draft experts agree that he’ll be taken either late in the first round or early in the second round. He’s unquestionably one of the top cornerbacks on the 2020 Draft board, and with a strong NFL Combine, could see his name called as early as the first half of the first round depending on team needs. But nobody disputes his physical attributes. He’s a wiry and strong corner with great ball skills and tremendous natural athletic ability, and my honest projection is that after a year or two of learning the speed of the NFL game- a step that very few players skip when leaving college early- he’s going to make some NFL team very, very happy.
As for his effect on the team he’s leaving behind, Henderson’s departure will hurt, but it doesn’t exactly decimate Florida, either. Plenty of talented young corners await their turn next year, including will-be sophomores Kaiir Elam and Jaydon Hill, and they’ll all get a head start in the collective team quest to replace him in the Gators’ bowl game. And if Marco Wilson decides to return in 2020, the Gators won’t miss a beat at the cornerback position next year.
Regardless, I of course wish the man Gator fans call “Hendo” nothing but the best of luck. You’ve got a fan in me wherever you go next, CJ.