Henderson Turns Heads in Hawaii

While the Army All-American game is in San Antonio, Dallas Carter's Chris Henderson instead took a trip to Hawaii to participate in the new Mainland Bowl. Websider catches up with the recruit about his game and island visit.

High school all-star games are becoming a mainstay of the recruiting process for the top senior prospects in nation, and new ones are popping up every year.  So when the Hawaii/Polynesian – Mainland Bowl announced its inaugural game last month and the organizers invited Dallas Carter defensive lineman Chris Henderson to be a participant in Hawaii, it was something he couldn't pass up.

"Are you kidding me?  It's a free trip to Hawaii to play with some of the best players in the country," Henderson joked. "It was unbelievable.  I had a great time."

The Polynesian food and events were a big highlight.  The players were well-fed and shown many of the Hawaiian cultural events.  Henderson's favorite was the Hawaiian luau.

"Yeah, I was down with the luau with all the dancing and the food," Henderson. "That roasted pig was something else.  It was huge, but we took care of it.  That was some good eating.  They fed us well the whole time."

But there was more to the week than just food and fun.  Henderson was there to show off his abilities to the rest of the nation's best players, many who will be back in the states this week to participate in one of three established all-star games for the nation's best players.

"It was a good group of players there.  Many will be at the Army All-Star Game next week," Henderson said.  "I thought I did well in practice and in the game.  I had three quarterback hurries and forced two interceptions, and I stuffed a fourth-and-one run.  A bunch of players said they were impressed with my game and I should be in San Antonio."

With Henderson's high school career now officially over, the 6-foot-3, 280-pound will take it easy the rest of the holidays and catch up on some schoolwork that he missed while in Hawaii. However, he'll be back to business in January with an official visit planned for Texas A&M and the start of offseason workouts.

"I've got some school projects to catch-up on, but I'm just going to take it easy for the rest of the holidays," Henderson said. "I'm taking my official visit to Texas A&M on January 23 and then I'll focus on working out.  I really want a shot at defensive end.  My biggest strength is my quickness off the edge and rushing the quarterback.  So I want to improve my quickness and agility, and get my weight down under 260 pounds."

Earlier this fall, Henderson was wavering on his commitment to the Aggies and was flirting with the Oklahoma Sooners, Kansas Jayhawks, and Colorado Buffaloes.  In fact, it made for some interesting Internet drama and Texas A&M fans were holding their collective breath with every update.  However, the drama appears to be over and Henderson is solid with his commitment.

"I'm still solid with A&M and I'm not talking to anybody.  I'm done," Henderson said. "I was joking around with Alex Okafor (Texas commit) in Hawaii and told him to watch out for me and my boys at A&M.  We're going to be contenders before we're done there.  I like our class coming in."

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