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Quadree Henderson will enter NFL draft

NCAA Football: Virginia at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt wide receiver and return man Quadree Henderson announced on Monday morning that he will enter the 2018 NFL draft, forgoing his senior season.

During his time at Pitt, Henderson took on a variety of roles. He saw little action with the offense in 2015 but proved himself a capable kick returner, amassing 504 yards and a touchdown on 18 returns. In 2016, he added punt returning duties to his repertoire and became a versatile threat on offense, racking up 631 rushing yards, 286 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

However, what was perhaps most impressive was the fact that he was able to average 10.7 yards per play from scrimmage that year on 86 touches, the majority of which were rushes. And of course, he was an absolute force on special teams, adding 1,166 yards and four touchdowns on kick and punt returns.

For his efforts, he was named a consensus All-American, becoming the first Pitt sophomore to earn that distinction since Larry Fitzgerald in 2003.

Henderson’s play dropped off a bit this season, as he and the offense adjusted to the losses of quarterback Nathan Peterman, running back James Conner and offensive coordinator Matt Canada. He reeled in just 17 catches on the season for 186 yards amid constant shuffling at the quarterback position, but he still had a solid showing on special teams.

When all was said and done, he’d accounted for 524 kick return yards and 243 punt return yards in the 2017 season, adding two touchdowns. In the process, he was named the ACC Specialist of the Week in September after racking up 202 return yards and a touchdown against Georgia Tech in Week 4.

Henderson didn’t repeat as an All-American this season, but he did earn All-ACC honors as a second-team specialist alongside offensive tackle Brian O’Neill and punter Ryan Winslow, who made the first team, and cornerback Avonte Maddox, who made the third team.

At the time of Henderson’s announcement, considered him the No. 10 receiver in the 2019 NFL draft class and a third- or fourth-round pick. However, it’s unclear where he ranks in the 2018 class and when he should expect to be selected.