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Quadree Henderson signs with Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Pitt alum has a chance to play a key role for the CFL's defending champions

Miami v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Former Pitt wide receiver and return specialist Quadree Henderson signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Wednesday, becoming one of several Pitt alums to sign with CFL teams this offseason. The first was former Panthers defensive end James Folston Jr., who signed with the Edmonton Football Team in December.

The 5’8”, 190-pound receiver last played on the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad in 2020. It was his second stint on the squad, as he started his career with the same team in the same role in 2018. Between those two stops in Pittsburgh, Henderson played for the New York Giants as a return specialist in 2018 and went on to play on the practice squads of the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers, all during the 2019 season.

At Pitt, Henderson earned consensus All-America honors in 2016, after leading the FBS in return yards with 1,166 and scoring four times on returns. The native of Wilmington, Delaware, also accrued 1,204 all-purpose yards in 2017, which led the team. And as a result of his two impressive seasons, he earned All-ACC honors in 2016 and 2017 and left Pitt after his junior year to enter the 2018 NFL draft.

In Winnipeg, Henderson will be one of two Pitt alums on the Blue Bombers roster. He joins offensive lineman Nolan Ulizio, a native of West Chester, Ohio, who played at Pitt in 2019. Henderson should have ample opportunity to catch on with the team, as Winnipeg recently lost Janarion Grant, its top return man, to free agency and Lucky Whitehead, its second-best return specialist, to the BC Lions.

Another positive for Henderson is that the Blue Bombers are the most recent Grey Cup winners. The team went 11-7 and defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12 in the 2019 CFL title game before the league canceled its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Henderson will join several other Pitt alums in the CFL aside from Folston and Ulizio. The list includes wide receiver Rafael Araujo-Lopes and linebacker Nicholas Grigsby of the Ottawa Redblacks, defensive end Dewayne Hendrix of the Toronto Argonauts, and linebacker Seun Idowu of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.