Tennessee may have come up short versus Southeastern Conference rival Alabama on Saturday, but Vols commit Jaquan Henderson’s gameday experience on Rocky Top still managed to give him “goosebumps.”
“It was great, it was fantastic,” the Covington, Georgia, native said when asked about the crowd hype in Neyland Stadium. “I can’t wait to come back.”
The 6-foot, 193-pound linebacker, who maintains a close relationship with Tennessee coach Butch Jones and linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen, was eager to experience Vol Nation on gameday alongside a number of future Vols that he speaks with regularly.
“We know each other well because we’re all in a group chat, so we all talk,” he said. “When we got an opportunity to come out to the game, we enjoyed ourselves.”
Before even entering a sold-out Neyland Stadium hosting 102,455 fans, the Scout No. 6-ranked outside linebacker was instantly captivated by the electricity of the Vol Walk.
“It was fantastic,” Henderson said. “It gave me goosebumps just watching it. I can’t wait for next year to actually get the chance to be in the Vol Walk.”
Though the then-No. 9-ranked Big Orange fell short against No. 1 Alabama, Henderson’s positive outlook on Tennessee did not lessen.
“You can’t charge this against them,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of guys down and the next man was up.
“They’ve got a young unit and they didn’t give up. That’s what I like about them. They didn’t give up.”
Henderson even used Saturday’s gameday experience as an opportunity to speak with the other prospects about joining the Orange & White, including Scout No. 1 defensive end in Alabama, LaBryan Ray.
“(LaBryan Ray) was in (Knoxville), so I was trying to talk to him to get him on board," Henderson said.
“I spoke with Maleik (Gray) and a couple other guys that (Tennessee) is trying to get on board.”
As of now, the only scheduled trip in the Scout four-star’s future is an official visit to East Lansing, Michigan, to watch Michigan State’s game versus Michigan on Oct. 29. That doesn’t mean he plans on changing his decision to remain a Vol anytime soon.
“I’m 100 percent Tennessee. I’m all in for Tennessee,” Henderson said.
The senior at Newton (Ga.) High School plans to take his official visit to Rocky Top either this December or January.