Gators lose starting WR Henderson to transfer portal

Gators lose starting WR Henderson to transfer portal

Florida’s second-best wide receiver Xzavier Henderson entered the transfer portal on Saturday.

Henderson jumped in the portal one day after UF defensive end Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr. announced his intentions to do the same thing.

Henderson, who is the younger brother of former Gator and Carolina Panthers cornerback CJ Henderson, caught nine balls for 148 yards and one TD as a true freshman in 2020.

As a sophomore in 2021, he had 26 receptions for 277 yards and two TDs. Henderson also had 162 yards on 24 punt returns and 26 yards on three kickoff returns.

In 2022, Henderson hauled in 38 catches for 410 yards and two TDs, including a 78-yard TD reception from Anthony Richardson to pull the Gators within 28-20 late in the third quarter against top-ranked and eventual national champion, Georgia. He had five catches for a career-high 110 yards vs. the Bulldogs.

Henderson had 108 return yards on 13 punt returns last season, in addition to 111 yards on seven kickoff returns.

In 30 games across three seasons at UF, Henderson had 73 career catches for 835 yards and five TDs. He averaged 11.4 yards per catch.

Caleb Douglas, who had 10 receptions for 175 yards and two TDs as a true freshman in 2022, and Marcus Burke are two WRs that will benefit from Henderson’s departure with increased snaps and usage. This also opens the door even more for several talent incoming freshmen like Andy Jean, Aidan Mizell and Eugene Wilson III to see early playing time.

Powell-Ryland had five tackles and 1.5 sacks as a freshman in 2021. In 2022, he produced 29 tackles, six tackles for loss, four QB hurries, three sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass broken up.

With the loss of Powell-Ryland, UF has five open scholarships available. The Gators are actively scouring the portal for five players, with the QB position being the obvious (GLARING!) need that should be addressed.

The lack of a quality quarterback on UF’s campus in late April is baffling, appalling and unprecedented, especially with a head coach going into Year 2 of his tenure off an abysmal 6-7 campaign.

Without a quality QB, the oddsmakers are extremely and understandably down on Billy Napier’s second team in 2023. The spreads for some of the Gators’ key games are a clear indicator of this factoid.

Gators lose starting WR Henderson to transfer portal

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