Former Maryland star E.J. Henderson selected to College Football Hall of Fame

March 11, 2020 | WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

IRVING, Texas – E.J. Henderson, the only two-time consensus First Team All-American in Maryland football history, has been selected as a member of the 2020 College Football Hall of Fame class, the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced Wednesday.

Henderson, a consensus First Team All-American as both a junior and a senior, becomes the seventh Terrapin player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame. Other Maryland inductees include Bob Ward (1980), Jack Scarbath (1983), Dick Modzelewski (1993), Randy White (1994), Bob Pellegrini (1996) and Stan Jones (2000).

2020 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS

PLAYERS:
Lomas Brown – OT, Florida (1981-84)
Keith Byars – RB, Ohio State (1982-85)
Eric Crouch – QB, Nebraska (1998-2001)
Eric Dickerson – RB, Southern Methodist (1979-82)
Glenn Dorsey – DT, LSU (2004-07)
Jumbo Elliott – OT, Michigan (1984-87)
Jason Hanson – PK, Washington State (1988-91)
E.J. Henderson – LB, Maryland (1999-2002)
E.J. Junior – DE, Alabama (1977-80)
Steve McNair – QB, Alcorn State (1991-94)
Cade McNown – QB, UCLA (1995-98)
Leslie O’Neal – DT, Oklahoma State (1982-85)
Anthony Poindexter – DB, Virginia (1995-98)
David Pollack – DE, Georgia (2001-04)
Bob Stein – DE, Minnesota (1966-68)
Michael Westbrook – WR, Colorado (1991-94)
Elmo Wright – WR, Houston (1968-70)

COACHES:
Dick Sheridan – Furman (1978-85), North Carolina State (1986-92)
Andy Talley – St. Lawrence [NY] (1979-83), Villanova (1985-2016)

The 17 First Team All-America players and two standout coaches in the 2020 Class were selected from the national ballot of 76 players and 5 coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision, the 101 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks and the NFF Veterans Committee candidates.

“We are extremely proud to announce the 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Mississippi. “Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments.”

The 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 8 at the New York Hilton Midtown. The inductees will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The announcement of the 2020 Class was made today during the Noon ET edition of “SportsCenter” on ESPN2.

“We want to thank ESPN for the opportunity to announce the 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class during ‘SportsCenter,'” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Today’s announcement shines a light on the accomplishments of some of college football’s greatest legends.”

E.J. HENDERSON — University of Maryland Linebacker, 1999-2002

The only two-time consensus First Team All-American in Maryland football history, E.J. Henderson racked up the awards during a remarkable career in College Park. The tackling machine becomes the seventh Terrapin player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.

A consensus First Team All-American as both a junior and a senior, Henderson took home the 2002 Bednarik Award as the best defensive player in the nation and the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in college football. The Aberdeen, Maryland, native owns NCAA records for career solo tackles per game (8.8) and single-season solo tackles (135 in 2001) while boasting school marks for tackles for loss in a career (62.5) and single-season (28 in 2001). Henderson led Maryland in tackles his final three seasons en route to compiling 473 in his career, which rank second in Terrapins history.

As a junior, Henderson was named ACC Player of the Year after leading the conference in tackles per game (13.6) and tackles for loss (28). The two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year led Maryland to the 2001 ACC title, the team’s first conference championship since 1985. Henderson and the Terps finished that season with a trip to the Orange Bowl, a No. 11 ranking and the school’s first 10-win season since 1976. During his senior campaign, the two-time First Team All-ACC Selection capped off his career as the Defensive MVP in a 2002 Peach Bowl win over Tennessee that helped the Terps finish with a No. 13 national ranking. Henderson was inducted into the University of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.

A second-round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, Henderson played his entire nine-year career with the Minnesota Vikings. He was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2011 and was named the Minnesota Vikings Community Man of the Year in 2010.

Recognized by the State of Minnesota for exemplary community involvement, he established the E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation in 2007 to provide athletic and fitness programs, academic support and life skills lessons designed to help promote good choices and bright futures. Henderson also served as youth football manager for the Minnesota Vikings.