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June 15, 2009The University of Tulsa gained a verbal commitment from 6-foot-2 and 190-pound quarterback Kalen Henderson of East St. John High School in LaPlace, Louisiana, the same school that produced Alex Singleton, a Rivals.com three-star running back who signed with the Golden Hurricane this past February. Henderson is an athletic dual-threat quarterback and opted to commit to Tulsa following his attendance at a TU camp last Friday.
"I committed a couple of hours ago," Henderson said. "I had received an offer from Tulsa in mid-April when (Assistant) Coach (Mike) Norvell came down to watch some of our practices and our spring game. I attended a camp at Tulsa last week and decided to commit today.
"When I called Coach Norvell and told him, he was really fired up and put down the phone and screamed. He was real excited. I also spoke with (Head) Coach (Todd) Graham, and he was excited, as well.
"Coach Graham congratulated me and welcomed me to the Tulsa family. He was really happy and told me that he wanted guys like me that have high character."
Henderson's attendance at the camp last Friday gave him ample time to see enough of the University to make his decision.
"I like the fact Tulsa is a private university with a great academic reputation," he stated. "I'm going to major in civil engineering, and Tulsa is among the top football-playing Universities in engineering. I like the small class size and the overall environment.
"I like the coaches, and I have a lot of friends there from Louisiana playing football, as well. Alex (Singleton) had told me that Tulsa was a perfect fit for him, but that I needed to see for myself. It's a perfect fit for me too."
Henderson held an offer from a Louisiana school and was receiving interest from a number of other programs, prior to his commitment.
"Louisiana-Monroe had offered," he explained. "TCU, Utah, New Mexico and Mississippi State were also interested and recruiting me. I'll be attending some team camps this summer with my teammates, but I'm committed to Tulsa.
"I've also been invited to attend the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in Las Vegas next week."
Last season, with Singleton in the backfield, Henderson didn't put the ball in the air very often, completing 57 of 94 passes for 1,012 yards and 9 touchdowns. He also ran for 7 additional scores. However, in his senior season, he'll get an opportunity to show his passing skills in a more pass-oriented offense.
"My first three years, we were mostly a running team," he added. "But this year, we're going to run five wideouts, and I'll get an opportunity to show my passing skills. I consider myself to be a dual-threat. I run a 4.72-second forty yard dash and can throw the ball 70 yards in the air, and 50 yards in the air on one knee."
Henderson is pleased that he will be given the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback job as a true freshman.
"Coach Norvell said that I would have the opportunity to compete as a freshman," he concluded. "He said they would throw me in the water. If I don't win the job, then I'll take a redshirt year.
"I also am the punter for my high school, and Coach Norvell said that they have a special formation that allows the quarterback to read the defense and either pass or punt. They seemed pleased that I will be able to give them that option."
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