We continue our series that takes a look at redshirt freshmen who are primed for breakout seasons. We’ve already covered wide receiver Steven Claude and safety Jessie Bates. We stay in the secondary for this pick, and take a closer look at cornerback Amari Henderson.
Amari Henderson was a consensus 3-star coming out of Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, and chose Wake Forest over Kansas State. During his senior year he was named 1st-team all-state. He’s yet another player Clawson has recruited who had at least one additional Power 5 offer.
He redshirted last season, but was actually ahead of Dionte Austin on the depth chart prior to suffering an injury towards the end of last season’s fall camp. He’s currently nursing a hamstring injury, according to Dan Collins, but should return by Wake’s season opener against Tulane.
Henderson has very good size at 6’1, 175 pounds, and is one of the fastest players on the team. He, along with Dionte Austin should become a formidable pair of ACC corners. Henderson’s long arms and physical style of play will allow him to disrupt passes, and throw off the timing of opposing passing attacks. It will also enable him to assist in stopping the run game.
The cornerback position was not a strength for the Deacs last season, as graduate transfer Devin Gaulden got beat more times than he should have, but Wake should be much stronger at that spot this year. Brad Watson can be an all-ACC caliber player on one side of the field, and then Dionte Austin and Amari Henderson are both going to be very capable corners on the opposite side. Regardless of who starts opposite Watson, I expect both Austin and Henderson to have strong impacts at corner and on special teams.