Jason Ivester

Arkansas Juniors Hunter Henry and Denver Kirkland Declare for NFL Draft

Juniors Hunter Henry and Denver Kirkland are leaving early at Arkansas. Both declared for the NFL Draft on Monday, two days after helping the Razorbacks to a 45-23 victory over Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl.

Arkansas juniors Hunter Henry and Denver Kirkland both decalred for the NFL Draft on Monday. Henry did it through a release from the school's communication department, while Kirkland announced via his personal twitter feed.

Henry was a unanimous All-America at tight end, also earning the Mackey Award for the nation's best player at that position. It is believed that Henry could go as high as late in the first round. He's a 6-5, 255-pound Little Rock product, leaving Pulaski Academy as two-sport star and the nation's top rated tight end. He was a three-year starter for the Hogs.

Kirkland started three seasons for the Hogs, first at right guard. He moved to left tackle this season. A product of Miami, Fla., Kirkland is a believed to be a mid-round draft pick. The 6-5, 340-pounder was a four-star prospect coming out of Booker T. Washington High School.

Arkansas junior running back Alex Collins has still not announced a decision about his draft status. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema plans to meet with Collins and his family on Wednesday at his hometown in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Henry leads the nation's tight ends with 51 catches for 739 yards. He did not have a dropped pass during the season.

Henry released this statement through the UA communications:

"As I move on to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL, I want to express my deepest thanks first and foremost to God for blessing me with the incredible opportunity to play football at the University of Arkansas. I have grown so much as a person and player these past three years at the University of Arkansas. I have enjoyed my experience more than I could have ever imagined.

 "I also want to thank Jeff Long and the entire athletic department, Coach Bielema, Coach Enos, Coach Lunney, my incredible teammates, my high school coach Kevin Kelley, and last but certainly not least, the entire Razorback Nation for giving this Little Rock native the experience of a lifetime.”

Kirkland's statement came on his twitter account:

"I would like to thank the University of Arkansas football program, the fans and the Fayetteville community for making my experiences at the UofA so rewarding. I have made friends and countless memories in my time here that I will carry with me throughout my life. The last three years here have given me time to develop as a scholar, athlete and as a person. For that, I am forever grateful. After much thought, prayer and consultation with my family, I have decided to forgo my senior year and take the next step towards fulfilling my lifelong goal of playing in the NFL. While pursuit of my dream will lead me to other places, my heart will remain in Fayetteville. Wooooo! Pig! Sooooie!"


Denver Kirkland

Hunter Henry

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