Former LSU and Saints star Devery Henderson said his days on the gridiron are over and he is looking ahead to what's next in his life.
The soft-spoken wide receiver reflected on a rewarding career when cameras caught up with him on a hot summer morning in his hometown of Opelousas, while he was giving back to the community.
Henderson was on his old high school football practice field for his annual free football camp for kids in the area. He finds himself making a big transition in his life, still loving the game, but no longer hearing the roar of the crowd.
"It's definitely different; I find myself with nothing to do, but for the most part, it gives my body a chance to rest, to get through all of the aches and stuff like that," Henderson said. "I have to keep pushing myself through pain and stuff like that. But for the most part, it's been quite an adjustment and I'm adjusting to it pretty well. I miss it, but I don't miss it (laughs)."
Henderson had the kind of career any young boy growing up in Louisiana would dream of. There was that little pass he caught over a decade ago at Kentucky, now called the "Bluegrass Miracle." Then, there was a national championship with LSU and a Super Bowl championship with the New Orleans Saints.
"I have never played on a football team out of the state of Louisiana. That's big, that's really uncommon, not too many people get a chance to do that," Henderson said.
He also played for notable coaches, like Nick Saban and Sean Payton.
"[I] played with some great coaches and great players. I was blessed throughout my career. I look back at it now [and] I just smile. Still a fan of the Saints and love them to death, still bleed black and gold," he added.
The twilight seems to be approaching for Saints current wide receiver Robert Meachem as well. He helped Henderson with the camp, while sharing what No. 19 meant to the Saints organization.
"Devery meant a lot. Stretch the field, a great blocker, he made plays when people didn't think it was going to be a play made," Meachem said. "The one thing I remember is just holding that banner up at the end and the big parade we had. That was one of the most memorable things of that season is all of us on the floats and just being one with the team, one with the city and nobody really was in danger that day. It was just a day of peace."
Henderson has returned to LSU and is working on his degree in sociology. He hopes to graduate in December.
"One of the things I really wanted to do was go back and get my degree. In my eyes, I waited too long, but it's never really too late and I'm trying to focus on that right now. It's always good to get that education and get that degree. It's one thing I can always show my kids and have that motivation for them," Henderson said.
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