Coastal Carolina graduate and all-time rushing leader De’Angelo Henderson of Summerville is working with The Sun News sports staff to provide a diary entry fortnightly through the NFL Draft from April 27-29. He is training for three months at the Michael Johnson Performance sports complex in McKinney, Texas, participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl all-star game on Jan. 21 at StubHub Center at California State University, has been invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine from Feb. 28-March 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and has CCU’s Pro Day on March 31.
Feb. 25 Diary Entry:
Everything’s going pretty good. [There’s] nothing too much new: just training and everything like that. I’m getting ready to fly out Tuesday to Indianapolis to get ready for the [NFL Scouting] Combine and everything like that. My marketing guy, we came up with a few different things, a few different brands, to try to get started – like little sponsorships. They’re kind of working on that stuff. My marketing guy got me an appearance at the combine with [Fox Sports writer] Peter Schrager to talk about stuff about college and the combine and my preparation and all that stuff. I had an interview with Hero Sports with Brian McLaughlin earlier this week. That was pretty neat as well. They focus on the FCS players coming out … just the FCS players in general. I had about a 45-minute interview with him. He’s going to type up an article and all that stuff. He just basically asked me about my preparation, feelings toward everything, the combine itself, training, all that good stuff, a little bit about college and just that type of stuff. He’s gonna call back in a few weeks to do another interview with me and see how my thought process is after the combine and then going into pro day. My people set that up as well. Other than that, just constantly talking with the family back home. They’re definitely excited to see me. I’ll be back home next Saturday. I fly out to Indy [on] Tuesday. I perform my on-the-field drills – my 40 and all that stuff – Friday. They’re actually sending me back to Texas [on] Friday night. My flight [from] there to South Carolina leaves Saturday afternoon. So [it’s] a pretty busy end of the week next week.
One of the best decisions I think I could have possibly made for myself was to come train here. I know when I got done with the season [there was a] question as to where I was gonna train. I talked with my agent – like I had the opportunity and stuff like that to train at Coastal – but I spoke with my agent and he asked me specifically what I wanted to work on and I told him ‘I want to be away from distractions. I want to get faster and I want to eat good,’ and he told me ‘I know the perfect place to send you.’ That’s when we came up with coming to Michael Johnson Performance and, I’ll tell you what, it’s one of the best things I could have done. I definitely feel stronger. I tested stronger, because we did before-and-afters already. I won’t give away my numbers; I’ll wait for everybody to see it next week. But I definitely tested in the winner’s bracket, if you ask me, in terms of my goals. So I’m excited about displaying all of that stuff in front of the scouts and the GMs and coaches and all that stuff next week. I’m really, really just pretty excited about the entire process. I can’t wait. I talked to [former Chanticleer and Washington Redskins receiver] Matt Hazel and [former CCU standout and Baltimore Ravens running back] Lorenzo Taliaferro; they went to the combine years ago. And I just asked them about their experience and what to expect and stuff like that and they just basically walked me through their experience. They told me it was going to be long, and to be myself. This is basically everything I’ve been working for so just leave it on the table. I talked to my mentor, Maurice Drayton, two days ago. He’s the one who recruited me to Coastal and he works up with the Colts in Indianapolis [now]. He’s going to be [at the combine] as a scout of course and whatnot. We were just talking about the same things, you know, it’s going to be long, there will be some mental fatigue, but just remember what I’m fighting for, stay focused on everything. So talking to people like that definitely motivates me and gives me like that edge and that belief that I can really go out there and do some good things. I’m excited, man, I’m really excited.
Like I said, I’ll be back in South Carolina next Saturday. I should be up toward Coastal around the middle of the month because when I get back I want to see my family and all that stuff. But I’m going to get back up [to Coastal], get back training and get ready for pro day. I’m going to miss the friends I’ve got here [in Texas]. This is all our last week together. We’ve done a few different activities. We went to the movies, we went to this place called Topgolf, went to the mall, went to the outlets – just try to do stuff to hang around each other more because this is our last week.
My body fat has dropped from 17 percent to 12. I’m like 212 [pounds] right now, but it’s a lot more muscle and I haven’t lost a step. I know I’m not going to get to like 3 percent body fat; I’m from the country so I’m going to have some fat on me. Just dropping from 17 to 12 in the span of eight weeks, that shows the type of people I’ve been training with and how smart they are and how well they put together this whole entire program and how much they really dedicate themselves to making us better. I’m appreciative of all the people here. I’ve met some good people here, some good trainers. I’m excited about working with them in the future in terms of like after rookie year and coming back next spring and working with them again. Actually my head speed guy, Brian Abadie, he flew up to Indianapolis on Friday to train [the NFL Network’s] Rich Eisen in his 40 [for charity], so he trained Rich Eisen in the 40. So when he runs the 40 [at the combine] he got trained by the same guy who trains me, so that’s pretty cool.