I came across Roderick Henderson while watching the NFLPA bowl and that was my first glimpse of the player. He is very big in the middle and has a nice explosiveness to him. At Alabama State, he consistently wreaked havoc and always seemed to be in the backfield. His first step and power are very noticeable, and he always seems to be in the right gap. He can play the run very well and also has an ability to get after the passer if needed to on early downs. I think Henderson is making a case to be drafted anywhere from the mid to late rounds in the draft. His competition will play a large part in determining where he goes but he handled his competition the way one wants a prospect to at that level. I was able to interview Henderson recently, and I could hear the passion and excitement in his voice for the game. He will be a factor for a team at the next level and I wish him all the best throughout the process.
Here is the interview:
LJ: Thanks for taking the time to come on with me Roderick. Can you give me a detailed background, where you’re from and all the schools you attended?
Roderick: I’m from Montgomery Alabama, I attended Carver High School in Montgomery and signed to Southern Mississippi out of High School. I attended Southern Miss for a year and a half before transferring back home to Alabama State University and finished my college career there.
LJ: Where are you currently training at?
Roderick: I’m down here in South Florida at Bommarito’s training facility, very good man.
LJ: What positions did you play growing up throughout your career?
Roderick: To be honest with you, you might not believe me but I played a little bit of everything. I played quarterback one time. I’ve played running back, fullback, played a little linebacker and O-Line but I didn’t really like O-Line I’m not much of a blocker and things like that. So yeah a little bit of everything, I’m just a big athlete.
LJ: So what position were you originally recruited as out of High School?
Roderick: I was originally recruited as a D-Tackle.
LJ: What is your current size?
Roderick: I’m 6’1” 348
LJ: Your pro day, when and where is that going to take place?
Roderick: My pro day is going to be March 9th at Alabama State University.
LJ: What drill/test do you think you will be your most impressive at your pro day?
Roderick: I’ll impress with my 40. A lot of people got me running like a 5.5 or a 5.6 so I think I’ll impress when the time comes. Scouts have already seen I can move and bend well for my size at the NFLPA Bowl and throughout the practices.
LJ: Definitely, that’s one of the things I noticed as well and that brings me to my next question. Outside of your speed and quickness off the ball, what traits or skill sets that you possess will help you win at the next level?
Roderick: My hand placement, and my low pad level. I have great hands. I get into the backfield every play and create double teams so my linebackers can come free and make great plays. I block kicks, and I just love taking on double teams. I don’t think there is a nose guard out there that enjoys taking on double teams the way I do.
LJ: Which NFL player to you study the most when watching tape?
Roderick: Vince Wilfork… it’s Vince Wilfork. I play a lot like him, we have the same type of build, we do some of the same things and control the gap. We demand double team blocks and stop the run.
LJ: So you look at yourself as a true nose tackle at the next level?
Roderick: Yes sir, Vince Wilfork junior and I got a fast twitch like he has.
LJ: In which area do you want to improve your game the most for the next level?
Roderick: I would say getting a little more knowledge of the game. A little bit more extra film study to see different hand placement because I know every center and guard in the NFL have great hand placement. I want to see how they use their hands and where they are going to place them on me to get a feel for it so just more film study.
LJ: If you could sack any QB in the NFL who would it be?
Roderick: Sack any QB in the NFL…. (laughs) hmm I would say Big Ben, he’s probably the biggest quarterback in the NFL.
LJ: Who is the biggest inspiration in your life?
Roderick: I would say my mom. She’s dealing with a little bit of health issues right now and she just stands strong and continues to fight ya know. I have a few coaches, my father and a few family members as well.
LJ: Prayers out to your mom, I hope the best for her.
LJ: What is your favorite football-related memory?
Roderick: I would say the Kentucky game. When we played Kentucky I had three tackles for loss and a PBU at the line of scrimmage. I feel that I proved to people that I could play with anybody at any level. Oh yeah and one more. I ran the ball, coach finally gave me the ball one time.
LJ: So when you left Southern Miss what kind of helped you refocus and then choose Alabama State?
Roderick: Well, leaving Southern Miss I didn’t get into any trouble or have any grade issues or anything like that. I left Southern Miss because of family issues my mom found out she was dealing with a little health issues and I felt like I would be stronger back home and she would fight harder knowing I’m there and she could see my face. Going back to Alabama State is my home and I felt like I could be a hometown hero and help out in the community. I had more support and fan support, things like that. Plus the school is great and the Stadium. You should see the stadium in person.
LJ: Alright well thanks again Roderick I’m just going finish it up with one random question. Which musician are you listening to for your for your pre-game ritual?
Roderick: I got a couple, but my go to is Lucci. He’s very motivational with his raps and gets me going.
Thanks for reading you can see a highlight reel of Roderick Henderson below and follow him on Twitter at @94_GHOST