Former Florida Gators cornerback C.J. Henderson's first full offseason as an NFL player has been all about education.
After earning his college degree in April, having completed classes during and after his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Henderson has donated $250,000 to his alma mater, Columbus High School in Miami, Fla., for renovations to the school's athletic training center.
“My brother and I will never forget our experiences at Columbus; the faculty and coaching staff really go above and beyond to help their students succeed,” Henderson said via a statement. “This gift is a way for me to give back to the school who helped me so much. It feels good to know that I will play a part in helping future student-athletes at Columbus.”
Henderson attended Columbus from 2013-17, playing football and running track for the Explorers, before spending three seasons at the University of Florida. His brother, Xzavier Henderson - a rising sophomore receiver at Florida who is expected to take on a large role in the Gators' offense this season - attended Columbus from 2016-20.
Following his successful career at UF, in which Henderson earned three various All-SEC honors, the South Florida native was selected ninth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Jaguars. At the age of 22, Henderson can not only the rare feat of making the NFL, but may also pat himself on the back for major academic accomplishments and philanthropy.
"Plans for the 2,000 sq. ft. center include areas for evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation. There will be whirlpools for hydrotherapy, massage chairs, and training tables for a variety of therapeutic modalities, as well as for nutrition and storage spaces," the statement from Columbus read.
The Henderson Family Training Center, which Columbus has decided to name after Henderson for his donation, is set to open in August 2021.
“We are so grateful to CJ and the entire Henderson family for this generous gift,” said school president Thomas Kruczek. “The Henderson name on this facility will serve as an inspiration to all Columbus Explorers.”