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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Justin Henderson, RB, Louisiana Tech

Justin Henderson Lousiana Tech Interview
Justin Henderson is a very athletic all-around back out of Louisiana Tech. He ran for 1062 yards and 15 TDs in 2019 and was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA team for the 2020 season. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? What was your most difficult class that you ever had to take?
La Tech is nice. The campus is calm and cool. I’m a Sociology major. Spanish was probably my most difficult class to date. It’s hard to learn another language.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
From a physical standpoint, they’d probably say that I have powerful legs. I’m a strong downhill runner. Other than that, my best qualities include my attitude and passion for the game, my drive and my ability to lead.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I was a team captain for La Tech in 2020. I can be the leader on the field that sets the example. I can also be the “Ra-Ra” kind of player, be vocal, and motivate my team to be the best they can.

As far as position, I’m a running back, but I’ll do anything it takes to get on the field including special teams. I’m comfortable with almost any scheme like an RB-Power or R.P.O. Zone Spread. I’m very good at faking out the defense into thinking that I have the ball.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Playing against BYU this year, I saw a very good defense that played well together. Each player did their job very well.

Last year, I played against Shaq Quarterman who got drafted in the 4th round by the Jaguars.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
J’Mar Smith was our starting QB for 3 years before he graduated last year. He was a go-getter and a very good leader. I would take him any day and go to war with him.

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There are a lot of guys on our defense that have my respect like Amik Robertson, L’Jarius Sneed and Trey Baldwin. Those guys know how to get the job done.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
I had a lot of offers coming out of high school, but unfortunately my SAT scores weren’t very good. I ended up going to East Coast Prep School. I had several offers as I was ending my time there, but they eventually went away. I struggled with the idea of me playing football, got discouraged and almost walked away. My Prep Coach helped get me to Coffeyville Community College. I had to redshirt there until I finally got my opportunity. After having a 1000 yard season, LA Tech brought me in. It took me a while to get going, only starting a few games at first. I had a great Spring in 2019, and eventually ended up starting that whole season. With the chance to prove myself, I ran for 1062 yards and 15 TDs.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Track. I mostly used track to stay in shape for football. I liked it, but I never loved it like I do football. I did fairly well with it, running for 22.58 sec in the 200m and 11.03 sec in the 100 m. I have run a 10.9 before but not in a meet. I know that if I had dedicated myself to track, I would have been very good at it.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I am very proud that we beat Miami in the Independence Bowl. That was big beating them 14-0.

Tell us about some of the best moments of your collegiate career.
Some of our best games were against our rival, Southern Miss. My best moment has to be against Miami. That crowd was wild. I was able to run 95 yards in that game and was named offensive MVP.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite athlete is Lebron James. I like how he carries himself on and off the court. He’s a great family man and role model.

One of the players that I respect is Mark Ingram. We have some similarities in our game.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Kodak. I gotta listen to “In Too Deep” every time before a game. I also like to listen to some Gospel like William Murphy and Marvin Sapp.

What is your favorite comfort food?
I love my Mom’s cooking. Something like steak, sweet potatoes and asparagus.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite movie is “Friday”.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I’m watching TV, YouTubing and watching football film.

Who or what motivates you the most?
God and family. I play because my pops had introduced me to the game when I was little and I fell in love with it. He used to be a great RB at Florida State. He never made it to the league, but he took care of business off the field and gained the respect of a lot of people. He’s a very humble man who took care of his family, and I hope to one day do the same.

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