Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes struck gold a few years ago when they landed the number one overall recruit in the country in the massive 6’8”, 350 pound offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson out of Minnesota.
Henderson was expected to anchor the offensive line before heading off to the NFL for a lengthy career. But his days at UM have been marked with suspensions, being homesick, surgery, deaths of close friends, and a litany of other problems.
Still, Henderson has stuck it out at UM and with the Hurricanes poised to take a big step forward in 2013, the biggest man on the offensive line will likely be leading the way.
“We’re starting to get all of Seantrel. In other words, a total commitment,” UM head coach Al Golden told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “I can tell you this: we haven’t seen the best of him yet.”
Henderson said he expects to be the team’s starting left tackle this fall and that he’s “matured over the years” and that the Hurricanes are “going to win a bowl game this year.”
If the Hurricanes are to make more strides this season, Henderson will be, literally, a big part of it. If Henderson starts at left tackle and the Canes flip Ereck Flowers to another starting line position, the Canes will have at least three lineman over 6’6” and weighing at least 315 pounds.
That should put a big smile on most of the Hurricanes, especially running back Duke Johnson and quarterback Stephen Morris. For opponents, getting past Mount Miami may be the biggest challenge they face all year.
Last season, UM’s offensive line ranked 27th in the nation, allowing just 17 sacks in 12 games. The Canes line also plowed the way for the offense to rush for more than 150 yards in seven different games, punctuated with a 248 rushing yards in the final game of the year against Duke.
While the past four years have been difficult for Henderson, and most of the Canes team, if he and his teammates can meet the potential they have; there’s no stopping where UM might be headed this year, except by the NCAA.
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