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Friday, March 1, 2013
Meet the run-ons: LB Carter Henderson

By Josh Moyer

Every weekday, as part of an ongoing series, NittanyNation will take a closer look at a Penn State walk-on.

Vitals: Linebacker Carter Henderson, Murrysville (Pa.) Franklin Regional, 6-foot, 212 pounds.

Picked Penn State over: FCS offer from Richmond and Div. II partial scholarships from Duquense and St. Francis.

Why he picked PSU: He didn't care about playing time as much as testing himself and playing at the highest level he could. Henderson couldn't have turned down the PSU opportunity, he said, without regretting it the rest of his life. He also wanted to major in engineering, and PSU is well-known for that academic program.

State of the position: There might not be a harder place for a linebacker to find a starting spot. There's plenty of quality depth here, with four good players -- Mike Hull, Glenn Carson, Ben Kline, Nyeem Wartman -- who will see plenty of time this season. Gary Wooten and two incoming freshmen, Brandon Bell and Zayd Issah, will provide further depth. PSU doesn't have an immediate need for more linebackers this year or next.

Strengths: His specialty is stopping the run, and he boasts good lateral quickness to avoid blockers. He runs in the low 4.7s, and he takes pride in his football instincts. He shows great pursuit, which is why he set a school record with 145 tackles.

Weaknesses: He played inside on a 3-5 defense in high school, and he's generally unaccustomed to pass coverage. He'll need to become more well-rounded, and his size is also a bit of a negative because he's only about 6-0. Still, that didn't seem to bother Hull too much.

Potential impact: Henderson boasts a lot of potential, but he'll likely have to settle for being a special teams player. At Linebacker U, PSU has its pick of some of the top high school linebackers in the country, so Henderson will likely by a scout-team player who might see situational time as an upperclassman.

Quotables: "You can represent one of the best football programs in the country, and they always have the tradition -- so, just being able to wear that jersey and run out with your teammates, it's going to be quite an experience in front of 100,000 fans."

Getting to know Henderson: Favorite movie is "Remember the Titans" ... Favorite TV show is "30 for 30" ... Favorite food is crab legs ... Favorite musician is Lupe Fiasco ... Dream vacation spot is Hawaii.