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Vols' playmaker needs open Christopher Henderson's eyes

Tennessee hosted a talented set of official visitors over the weekend. See what one of the nation's premier athletes said about his first Rocky Top trip.

The lure of experiencing something different coupled with an opportunity to play early at Tennessee were too much for Christopher Henderson to say no to and the Florida-based talent took an official visit to Knoxville this weekend.

"Just the coaches wanted me to get up here," Henderson said Sunday on why Tennessee. I wanted to check out something new.

"I loved it. I loved the visit, the atmosphere, the fans. It was great.

"It was better than I expected. I didn't expect it to be this cool. They've been talking to me for a while, and I took them serious.

"I like the atmosphere, the coaches, the school."

It was the athlete's first-ever visit to Knoxville. He was part of a crowd of 102,455 to see the No. 9-ranked Volunteers face No. 1 Alabama. Vols coaches made it known to the Columbus (Fla.) High talent that he's not just wanted, but badly needed.

"They just kept telling me they need playmakers and stuff and that I can make an impact early," Henderson said.

"I seen that they needed somebody that can make a play. I felt like I could have been that player out there.

"I'm thinking about (Tennessee) a lot after this visit. I really had a good visit."

Defensive backs coach Willie Martinez and tight ends coach Larry Scott are the Tennessee coaches that Henderson primarily hears from other than head coach Butch Jones.

"(Martinez) is really cool," Anderson said. "It was like I already knew him when I went up here, and I actually got to talk to him a little more.

"(Jones) just kept telling me how they need playmakers right now, and I should have been on the field and stuff."

The Scout four-star prospect is the No. 2-rated athlete in the Sunshine State's 2017 class and No. 192 overall in the Scout 300. He said that corner is his best position and he looks up to Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. Tennessee coaches see him as a cornerback.

Wide receiver Tyler Byrd was a one-time Miami Hurricanes commitment like Henderson before winding up at Tennessee. The two spoke this weekend.

"(Byrd) just told me it was fun. It was the greatest decision he ever made. Just enjoy the process and stuff," Henderson said.

The four-star's mother joined him on Rocky Top.

"I think she had a good time, too," said Henderson, who signed the prospect wall at Jones' house but did not get close to committing.

Auburn, Florida, Miami and Tennessee sound like the top schools in contention. Distance will not play much of a factor for Henderson, he says, paying more attention to "if I will be comfortable at the school, like during the offseason. Will the coaches be comfortable with me?"

It was Henderson's first official visit with a trip to Auburn likely coming in November. On a potential official visit to Miami: "I'm still thinking about it."

The athlete does not plan to enroll in college in January, but a verbal commitment could come a month prior to signing day.

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