BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson, the only player in school history to twice be named a First Team All-American, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
Henderson joined former Maryland players Bob Ward, Jack Scarbath, Dick Modzelewski, Randy White, Bob Pellegrini and Stan Jones in the hall, which is reserved for players who have received First Team All-America recognition, the university said.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Muggy With A Chance For Showers & Storms
As a member of the Terrapins, Henderson recorded 473 tackles, second most in school history, and in his senior season won the Bednarik Award as the country’s best defensive player and the Butkus Award as the best college linebacker.
“Playing at Maryland was special because it was like the college dream,” said Henderson, a native of Aberdeen. “When you go to college you want to play at the big time level, you want to play against the best and we got to live that life. Coach (Ralph) Friedgen was a big part of that, he came in and changed the culture. He put a lot of work behind what we were doing.”READ MORE: Bowie Picks Up The Pieces After Possible Tornado Leaves Trail Of Damage
Hired in 2001, Friedgen led Maryland to the ACC title and an appearance in the Orange Bowl in his first season. His junior linebacker won ACC Player of the Year honors after leading the conference in tackles per game (13.6) and tackles for loss (28), the university said.
A year later the Terps went 11-2 in the regular season and beat Tennessee in the Peach Bowl. Henderson won Defensive MVP honors in the game.
The Minnesota Vikings selected Henderson with a second-round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. In a nine-year pro career, all of it spent with the Vikings, Henderson had 761 combined tackles, 15 1/2 sacks and 13 forced fumbles. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2011.MORE NEWS: Several Houses In East Baltimore Will Be Torn Down Over North Avenue Sinkhole, Mayor Says
Friedgen attended the ceremony in Las Vegas, along with Maryland’s current head coach Michael Locksley, who was running backs coach with the Terps from 1997 to 2002, and athletics director Damon Evans.