Nick Rolovich praised the defensive backs after the first day of Hawaii football fall camp, saying the group was playing like it had a chip on its shoulder. Safety Trayvon Henderson has a chip on his shoulder for a different reason.
"It took me a while to accept it," Henderson said of the season-ending ACL tear suffered in the second game of the 2015 season at Ohio State. "But the more I thought about it, I thought it was a blessing in disguise. God allowed me more time to get better mentally as a football player, get my IQ better and help out my teammates."
The Sacramento native had appeared in 24 games at safety, starting 13 of them, before the injury put an end to what he hoped would be a breakout junior season. The NCAA granted Henderson a hardship waiver, giving him his junior season back.
"I'm really happy for that young man to get another opportunity," said UH head coach Nick Rolovich. "There are guys my heart goes out to them. I want to see them have a real successful year and career, and he probably fits in that category."
For a group that lost three if its four starters from last season, the secondary will get a big boost from Henderson's return.
"We're going to see a lot of great things from Trayvon," said defensive backs coach Abe Elimimian. "Athletically speaking, he's probably one of the most athletic guys I've ever been around as a player or a coach. If he can just put the mental aspect with the physical attributes he has, he could be all world."
After countless hours rehabbing his knee back to health, Henderson has spent plenty of time imagining what his return to the field will be like when the Rainbow Warriors run out on to the field at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
"I get goosebumps just thinking about it," he said.
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