Miami offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson joined the Hurricanes on the practice field for the first time on Monday, seemingly putting a halt to months of speculation regarding his status with the team.
"It's good to have him back," coach Al Golden said regarding Henderson's return. "We'll see where he's at going through the acclamation process and we'll go from there."
Henderson missed Miami's first three preseason workouts while attending the funeral of a childhood friend in Minnesota. While the cause is certainly acceptable in the eyes of his coaches and teammates, his absence from the first three workouts did not help to squash rumors of a possible suspension.
The former high school player of the year was suspended for the first weekend of spring practice in early March for an undisclosed team rules violation. In late June rumors circulated that both Seantrel Henderson and senior safety Ray-Ray Armstrong were dismissed from the football team. At the time, team spokesman Chris Freet declined to comment and head coach Al Golden was on vacation.
Armstrong was dismissed from the football team in July, though no official reason was given by the school. Until his return the team's stance regarding Henderson was equally ambiguous. In fact, starting left guard Jon Feliciano spent time on Sunday practicing at right tackle - Henderson's spot on the Hurricanes' depth chart.
With his weight down to 340 pounds, the 6-foot-8 Henderson is reportedly in the best shape of his college career. Michael Casagrande, Miami reporter for the Sun Sentinel, reported that the junior "appeared to be in better condition" and was giving pointers to the younger players during drills. The Hurricanes are severely lacking in experience, and Henderson - even with only two starts in 2011 - will have the opportunity to be a veteran presence for a young Miami team.
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