Tiger’s Darrell Henderson to enter NFL Draft

In this Dec. 2, 2017, file photo, Memphis running back Darrell Henderson, front, runs past Central Florida defensive back Tre Neal (23) for a 30-yard touchdown during the first half of the American Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game in Orlando, Fla. Memphis carries a four-game winning streak into Saturday’s American Athletic Conference championship game against No. 7 Central Florida. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis junior running back Darrell Henderson announced he will be forgoing his senior year to enter the NFL Draft.

The Batesville, Mississippi native made the announcement on his Twitter page on Wednesday.

“I will be forever grateful for my time at the University of Memphis and the opportunity it has provide me to achieve by dream of playing in the NFL,” he said.

He went on to thank all of the coaches, the Tigers Athletic Department, and of course, his family and friends.

“I also want to thank my family and all the Memphis fans for being so supportive during my college career. I will always be a Memphis Tiger and a proud alumnus of the University of Memphis.”

Henderson’s decision comes as no surprise for Tiger fans. He’d missed several of the team’s recent practices ahead of the Birmingham Bowl and was reportedly in talks with the coaches about what is sure to be a bright future.

This past season Henderson became one of the nation’s most explosive backs, averaging 8.9 yards per carry and leading the FBS with 25 total touchdowns. He was the nation’s second-leading rusher with 1,909 rushing yards on 214 carries. He also led the nation with 2,328 all-purpose yards, 22 rushing touchdowns and 15 total plays of 40-plus yards.

The 1,909 rushing yards this season was the third-most in program history and his 22 rushing touchdowns tied the single-season program record. He now stands as the second-leading rusher in program history with 3,545 career yards and has scored the second-most touchdowns in program history, with 45.

Memphis will face Wake Forest in the Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. CT.

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