Posted: 3:48 pm Saturday, October 12th, 2013
By Matt Porter
CORAL GABLES — Seantrel Henderson has been in more comfortable places.
After Saturday’s practice, the senior offensive tackle stood in a group of reporters on Miami’s practice field, sweating in the hot October sun, answering questions why he was suspended for the 13th-ranked Hurricanes’ 45-30 win over Georgia Tech last Saturday.
Asked why he was held out of that game, Henderson repeated what we already knew, which is he broke a team rule. He offered little in the way of answers, saying he has apologized to his teammates and coaches and everyone’s moving on.
This is at least the third time Henderson has been suspended for a violation of team rules.
Here are his comments, in full:
>What has the last week been like for you?
“Kinda rough,” Henderson said. “I made a mistake as far as breaking the team rule. I let my teammates down. I let my coaching staff down, the university, by not being able to be out there. I apologize to my team and the coaches. I’m just ready to move on and get ready for UNC.”
How are you moving forward?
“Just picked up where I left off at. Still working hard. Still just trying to remain being a great teammate, and um, being coachable.”
What did you have to apologize for?
“Just for violating the team rule. I broke one of the team rules. I apologize and I’m just trying to move on now.”
Is it something you’ve done before?
“No ma’am, no ma’am. Just a team rule.”
What do you have to do to get your starter’s job back?
“Keep busting my ass every day. I’ve got [Brandon] Linder in front of me, one of the best linemen on the team. So just keep working, keep working hard. Got to outwork him to get my spot back.”
How tough was it watching your teammates beat Georgia Tech without you?
“It was real tough. It was real tough. I knew they could do it. It would have felt better with me being out there, but I trust my team, and they got the ‘W’ without me.”
Has it been tough for you this season?
“Not super tough. Not super tough. You know, this is my last year. I’ve got a lot riding on the year. Just want to keep working hard, keep progressing week by week, take it a game at a time, and I feel that we’ll be national champions at the end of the year.”
What do you need to improve on the field?
Just my balance, keeping my head out there in pass protection, staying low on run blocks, getting up to the linebackers on combination blocks, things like that. Just staying square. Not turning my hips on attack and things like that.
How much do you weigh now?
I weighed in at 337 this morning.
Have coaches given you any advice that resonated with you?
“Just staying with the team, you know, being on time for everything, just making sure that I’m ahead of schedule for everything. Things like that.
Have your teammates been tough on you?
“I know my teammates were probably pretty upset at me that I wasn’t there. I’m a big part of the team. But at the same time, they didn’t just, how can I say it, ride me all week for being suspended for the game. They were just, you know, ‘Keep your head up, ‘Trel, keep working hard.’ Everybody on the team was positive and I was positive with them. Trying to help as much as I could, even though I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be there on Saturday. You know what I’m saying? Yeah.
Do you think you can go as far as you once could?
Yes. I feel like right now, I’m just working on winning every game up until the season’s over, graduating in May, and trying to fulfill the NFL this May also.
You said you had a lot riding on this season. Do you feel this might set you back in any way?
Yeah, but I feel like it’s over now. That was last week. I can’t do nothing but move on, and control what I can control.
Aside from missing the game, was there anything else you had to do to show you were sorry?
“Um, no sir. No sir. No sir.”
Was the way your teammates treated you this time different than how you’ve been treated in previous suspensions?
“Uh, no. They pretty much treated me the same way. Everybody on the team knows that everybody makes mistakes sometimes. Being suspended is a bad mistake that I made, but I bounced back. All my teammates are there for me. All my coaches are there for me. People around the university, still there for me. You know what I’m saying? I’ve got a lot of people behind me.”
Looking back, are you happy you are a Hurricane? Are you glad this is the place you chose?
“I have no regrets at all. I’m glad I’m here. Great people, like I said even during recruiting, this is family down here. That’s exactly how it feels. Everybody looks after everybody. I love it.”
What was the toughest part of the last week for you?
“Me letting the team down, you know, and the coaches down. Just not being out there. I know missing a game is a big part for me. Just how I felt, myself, letting the team down. Being suspended again after I already got suspended before. I just felt like, that was hard for me, you know? I was hard on myself after I already made the mistake. So I’m just focused on moving on.”
Do you feel even more motivated now?
Yeah. I feel like everybody knows I was supended last week, so now everybody’s trying to see what Seantrel’s going to do, how’s Seantrel going to play during UNC, if at all? It just motivates me to go out there and keep going hard on every play, focusing on the job, on the blitzes we’ve got coming up, things like that, defensive line movement, everything like that. Just being on-point on everything and stay watching film every day.
How are you going to play this week?
“I’m going to play great. I’m going to play great. I’m going to do everything I’m supposed to do. I’m not going to miss a beat.”