However, what Henderson lacks in size, he makes up for in quickness, physicality and heart, which is why he attracted the interest of college coaches and signed Monday at Cartersville High to play for Guilford College.
“Devin was just a guy you could count on. He practiced hard and he was tough,” Cartersville secondary coach Kyle Tucker said. “I guess a lot of people looked on film and saw he wasn’t tall, and they probably thought that’s the guy that we’re going to go after. Devin always welcomed that. He loves that challenge. He made a lot of big plays for us and made a lot of big tackles.”
As a senior, Henderson recorded 34 tackles, 12 assists, 11 pass breakups and four interceptions.
For his efforts, Henderson was selected to the 2013 Daily Tribune News All-County Team and was a Region 5-AAA second-team selection as a senior. He also was instrumental as the starting cornerback during the last two seasons in which the Canes went 20-0 during the regular season and 4-2 in the playoffs.
“I remember the one play that really sticks out to me was in the 2012 playoffs, the first round against Jackson County,” Tucker said. “[Jackson County] had a really explosive offense. We knew they would try anything. We had gotten up early and they were lined up for a punt. We practiced their fake punt all week and they did something we weren’t expecting. Devin read it, intercepted the ball and ran it down to about the four- or five-yard line. It was just a great play.
“He was just smart. He was like a coach on the field. He saw what was happening and he read it, intercepted it and had a nice return. It was early in that game, but that was a huge play and we went on to win big [56-21]. That was the play that got it going in that game.”
Along with his football acumen, Tucker believes Henderson has all the necessary traits to succeed at Guilford, an NCAA Division III program in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
“Devin is what you want in a secondary guy,” Tucker said. “He’s tough, he’s very fast and he can cover. A lot of times, people think that secondary guys don’t like to tackle, but Devin likes to tackle. He likes to mix it up, and he just did a really good job. You could count on him to be in the right place, do the right thing and just make the right plays.”
Henderson should be able to step in and help the Guilford football program, but he is looking forward to the academic aspect of the school as well.
“It’s a real good academic school. I went in January, spent the night there, and I liked the atmosphere and Greensboro is a nice city,” Henderson said. “I want to major in sports medicine. I would like to do that, if not at the college level, then with an NFL team.”
Despite Henderson’s career goals, he was not ready to give up on football just yet.
“I just loved being with my team. My favorite game was in the fourth round, junior year against Buford. That’s probably my favorite game because of the competition and we showed that we could hang with the best.” Henderson said of why he loved playing football. “I really wanted to play college football.”
Henderson looks forward to playing for Guilford, but would not rule out transferring if the opportunity presented itself to play football at a higher level.
“I watched [Guilford’s] film and I think I can come in there on the defensive side and return. I talked to my coach and he said they could use me as a slot receiver, possibly,” Henderson said. “I have talked to Austin Peay, and Campbell University in North Carolina, but they just didn’t offer me. I like [Guilford], but I would like to possibly leave there and go to a bigger school.”
Wherever Henderson finds himself, he will bring a level of competitiveness and toughness to the program. “Devin was on offense, defense, every special teams, kickoff, punt return, he was on everything. He could do everything and you could just depend on him,” Tucker said. “I first saw him play in a middle school basketball game when he was in eighth grade and knew then that he was really tough. He just competes.”