Top tier 2020 WR Xzavier Henderson commits to Florida

Xzavier Henderson
(At least) three more years of watching a Henderson brother play for the Gators!

CJ Henderson may have left Florida early, but his family name will continue to be represented on the Gator football jersey nameplates.

Consensus four star WR Xzavier Henderson (Miami, FL/Columbus) has committed to Florida at the All American Bowl in San Antonio. He chose the Gators over Clemson- his presumed favorite before his primary recruiter, Jeff Scott, left to take the South Florida job- as well as Alabama and Georgia. He also had offers from LSU, FSU, Miami, Michigan, Oregon and Virginia, as well as over a dozen more.

Dubbed “Baby Hendo” by some on social media due to his status as the younger brother of the aforementioned CJ Henderson, Xzavier is an instant plug-and-play piece at wide receiver. Which is good, because he needs to be. Florida does return Trevon Grimes, Jacob Copeland, tight end Kyle Pitts and possibly even slot receiver Kadarius Toney, but the losses of wideouts Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland, Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain have certainly left a vacuum at that position. Credit to Brian Johnson and Billy Gonzales for identifying that and adding a big time replacement.

Let’s start with the physical attributes. He stands 6’4, 180 lbs and runs a 4.55 40 yard dash to boot. Translation: he’s a tall, wiry wide receiver with above average strength and top notch high school track speed. He boasts tremendous route running skills as well as great hands, and still has room to fill in his frame with an offseason in Nick Savage’s strength and conditioning program. If he continues to grow and develop, he could challenge some of Florida’s receiving records and find himself as a first round NFL Draft pick. You can watch his highlight tape here.

Most important about him, though, is that he produces when it counts most. In Columbus’s Class 8A state championship game against Apopka- the top classification level of Florida high school football- Henderson led the way with eight catches for 105 yards and ran for a touchdown on a jet sweep in the Explorers’ 21-20 upset win. 

Put simply, this is a five star talent Florida has added. I get that there’s only a finite number of five star labels to hand out, but to be blunt, the recruiting services missed on their analysis of him, as he fits the profile of a five star pass catcher as much as anyone can. His ceiling is stratospheric, and now he joins a 2020 Florida recruiting class that’s already solidified a spot in the top ten in the country- and not necessarily done yet. The Gators are still in play for former Oregon safety commit Avantae Williams, and possibly a few others as well.

Regardless of who else Florida finishes with this cycle, though, the addition of Henderson has sealed this class’s reputation as a great one. 

UPDATE: Here are a few video highlights of Xzavier Henderson’s day in the All-American Bowl.

First: he catches a quick screen pass and takes it sixteen yards for a first down.

Next: his commitment.

Last but not least: he adjusts on an under thrown ball and reels it in anyway for a 57 yard reception to cap his special day.

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