Former Arkansas and current Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry made a strong impression on his position coach during his rookie season.
Chargers tight end coach John McNulty told the team’s official website that Henry was a “rare find” before last season and reaffirmed his faith in Henry heading into his second year.
“Well, he led the league in touchdowns (by a tight end), and that’s not something you ever expect out of a rookie,” McNulty said. “But Hunter is a kid who is going to play a long time with a lot of successful seasons. For a young player, he’s got a tremendous amount of poise.
“He has rare awareness and savvy for someone his age. You don’t have to spell everything out A-Z for him. The biggest thing is that he has ball skills. He can catch the ball that gets in on him fast, and he makes the contested catches with big, strong hands. You look at some of those touchdown catches, they weren’t easy.”
Henry had 36 receptions for 478 yards and eight touchdowns; he had nine TD receptions in his three-season career at Arkansas. Perhaps even more impressive was that his breakout rookie campaign took place while sharing reps with future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates, who also recorded big numbers after serving a four-game suspension.
McNulty also praised Henry’s ability as a blocker, crediting it as a “rare” quality for pass-catching tight ends in today’s NFL.
“Nowadays you look and say, ‘That guy is a blocker and that guy is a receiver,’ ” McNulty said. “Not everyone is well versed in both (areas). There are rare guys who you feel can do both at an exceptional level, but that is what Hunter has shown he can do already. I think he will keep getting stronger as a younger guy. He also is a hard worker; we don’t have any problems there.
“He has a great future ahead of him.”
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