KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Corey Henderson has signed with Blinn (Junior) College in Texas after originally penning scholarship papers as part of Tennessee’s 2016 recruiting class in February.
A source in the Tennessee football community said there aren’t expected to be any more academic non-qualifiers among the 2016 signing class.
Henderson is a 6-foot-1, 170-pounder from Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was listed as an “athlete” but expected to audition at receiver for Coach Butch Jones.
Henderson was rated as the No. 99 wide receiver in the nation and 31st-ranked player in Louisiana after catching 42 passes for 435 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Tyler Byrd, another 2016 signee listed as an “athlete,” told SEC Country last week that he will start out at Tennessee as a receiver. Byrd also has standout defensive back skills.
Byrd and his roommate, fellow Naples High School star Carlin Fils-aime, went through orientation at UT on Wednesday.
Brad Simmons, guardian for Byrd and Fils-aime, said the players will attend their high school graduation ceremony on Friday and return to Knoxville on Sunday to finish moving into the dorm and start classes.
The Vols return 11 receivers from last season and added early signee Jeff George to the team in January.
It’s no secret Tennessee could use an impact player at the position, particularly one of the deep threat variety.
In addition to George and Byrd, the 2016 class features three other candidates to play that impact receiver role: Marquez Callaway (6-foot-2, 170, Warner Robins, Ga.), Brandon Johnson (6-3 185, Plantation, Florida.) and Latrell Williams (5-11, 175, Lake City, Florida).
Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, extended a “welcome” to Corey Henderson on its Twitter account on Wednesday, an indication the Louisiana prep star could be headed that way.
Blinn athletic department spokesman Jake Gordon confirmed Henderson’s signing. The Buccaneers begin their season on Aug. 27 against Texas A&T in Sante Fe, Texas.
The school, located some 40 miles south of Texas A&M’s College Station campus, advertises four NJCAA national titles, most recently 2009.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton led that Blinn team to the title in 2009 during his one-year stint at the school between his time at Florida and Auburn.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted