Henderson Named to CFPA’s 2014 Watch List for FCS Kickoff Returners


The University of Montana’s Ellis Henderson has been named to the 2014 CFPA Kickoff Returner Award Watch List, as announced by College Football Performance Awards.

The initial watch list includes 40 returning performers who are vying for the top kickoff returner award in the Football Championship Subdivision.  Last month Henderson and teammate Jamaal Jones earned spots on the CFPA’s Watch List for wide receivers.

Last season Henderson had team-highs of 43 receptions for 1,008 yards.  His 14 receiving touchdowns a year ago tie him for the third most in UM’s single-season history.  His 14 TD grabs were the third most in the FCS in 2013.  Last season he was ranked seventh in the nation in punt returns; 19th in all-purpose yards; and 39th in kickoff return average.

Henderson, a 6-0, 185-pound junior from Portland, Ore., was named second team All-Big Sky Conference at both wide receiver and as a return specialist last season.   He was the recipient of UM’s Terry Dillon Award (outstanding back or receiver) a year ago.

Ellis Henderson Photo by Todd Goodrich UM

Ellis Henderson. Photo by Todd Goodrich UM.

He was ranked in the league’s top 10 in five categories: first in punt return average (12.2 ypr); fourth in kickoff return average (24.0 ypr); sixth in scoring (tied at 6.9 ppg) and all-purpose yards (142.4 ypg); and 10th in receiving yards a game (77.5 pg).

Thus far seven Grizzly players have been named to the CFPA’s 2014 watch list.  Earlier this summer wide receivers Henderson and Jamaal Jones, along with senior defensive end Zack Wagenmann, senior free safety Matt Hermanson, senior quarterback Jordan Johnson, senior running back Jordan Canada, and junior punter Stephen Shaw were placed on the list at their respective positions.

The CFPA is now entering its seventh season of recognition. The CFPA’s player and team performance index ranks success in all three phases of the game — offense, defense, and special teams.

Two Montana stars have earned CFPA honors in the past, linebacker Jordan Tripp last season and cornerback Trumaine Johnson in 2012.

The CFPA’s 2014  Trophy winner and former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was the first overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.  Twenty-eight CFPA winners have been first-round NFL Draft selections.

The complete list of 2014 CFPA winners will be announced January 14, 2015.