Florida Gators 2020 Signee Profile: Wide Receiver Xzavier Henderson

Demetrius Harvey

Xzavier Henderon, wide receiver

School: Columbus (Miami, Fla.)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 192 pounds

247Sports Composite Rating: Four-star, No. 11 wide receiver, No. 14 state (Fla.), No. 66 national

Recruitment History:

The Younger brother of former Gators cornerback CJ, Xzavier Henderson was highly-touted as a wide receiver coming out of high school, progressing through each season. At 6-foot-4, 185-pounds it's easy to see why the Gators were so invested in Henderson early on during his recruitment.

While the team did have heavy competition from Clemson, Henderson would choose Florida in the end, and it didn't help that Clemson's co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, Jeff Scott, who was recruiting Henderson throughout the process left the university to become the new head coach at the University of South Florida.

Henderson's primary recruited, Gators quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson and secondary recruiter, wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales were fortunate and able to reel in the highly-athletic little brother of one of their star players.

Throughout his recruitment, Henderson received an offer even before Dan Mullen and his staff could reach Gainesville after the team extended an offer to him in 2017, only a few months after Henderson's freshman season in high school. Over time, Henderson would spend a lot of his time in Gainesville, visiting the campus on numerous occasions, including two camps, four unofficial visits, before conducting one last official visit to the school.

Waiting until January of this year to commit, Henderson chose Florida after a bit of theatrics which included his mother proclaiming the decision by showing off her Gators' t-shirt.

Given his connection to the team with his brother and the number of times he visited campus, it was a no-brainer for Henderson to sign with the team, especially given the wide receiver situation. 

Long-Term Outlook:

There's no question Henderson is already one of the most athletic wide receivers on the Gators' roster, currently.

His size and length speak for themselves, and his ability to separate as a former track star makes him one of the more valuable gets in the Mullen era. In high school, Henderson ran an 11.06 in the 100-yard dash, 21.53 in the 200-yard dash, and a 46.77 in the 400-meter dash, which he won the 4A Florida State Championship in 2019.

With the departure of several wide receivers in this year's draft, the Gators will look to use Henderson early and often in 2021, or perhaps even this season depending on how the team views the rest of its depth chart. Currently slated to start for the Gators at the receiver position is a redshirt sophomore in Jacob Copeland, who looks to play a major role for the team, senior receiver Trevon Grimes and senior receiver Kadarius Toney.

While redshirt senior wide receiver Rick Wells is sure to command snaps, the rest of the field is wide open for Henderson to earn opportunities.   

During his high school career at Columbus (Miami, Fla.), Henderson played both safety and receiver, hauling in 47 receptions for 784 yards and six touchdowns over his final two seasons in high school, according to MaxPreps.com. He demonstrated his size-mismatch ability, along with his speed hauling in an impressive 16.7 yards per reception.

Gators head coach Dan Mullen was asked during his National Signing Day press conference about the prospect of Xavier and CJ Henderson facing off, expecting big things from the freshman with some coaching, of course.

"With Xzavier, the one thing you see when you put him next to him, he's bigger than his brother," Mullen told reporters. "You know, and he's still in high school. He hasn't been through the program developing yet. He's an elite track guy, so I think he's got the potential -- once we coach him up a little bit, I don't know, I might have to go with Xzavier right then once we get him coached up a little bit, with some technique things to go work on, because the physical tools, he might win that battle with physical tools."

 

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