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Elite 11 wait continues for Henderson, Park

4/22/2013

ASHBURN, Va. -- Two quarterbacks with high hopes of earning tickets to the Elite 11 finals last weekend went home from two days of competition with only the promise that it still could happen.

Caleb Henderson (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) and Jacob Park (Stratford, S.C./Goose Creek) ceded the top spot at the Washington, D.C. Elite 11 regional and Nike Football Training Camp to more lightly regarded Andrew Ford of Camp Hill, Pa./Cedar Cliff.

Ford received the weekend's only invitation to the finals, set for late June in Beaverton, Ore. He also got an invite to The Opening, which will be held for the first time in conjunction with the premier QB event, joining quarterbacks David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./North) and Deshaun Watson of Gainesville, Ga.

Henderson, No. 134 in the ESPN 150, entered last weekend as the highest-rated player at his position in attendance.

He suffered a twisted ankle in warmups on the AstroTurf field at the Washington Redskins' practice facility on Saturday, but persevered. He said he struggled to throw the corner route in a few drills but said he thought he fared well overall.

Park, one of five 2014 quarterback prospects known to hold an offer from Alabama -- Cornwell is another -- also performed well. Still, there's room for improvement.

"My footwork was not as good as I thought it was," Park said. "I've got a lot of stuff I can go home to work on. All around, my accuracy is going to benefit. My elbow wasn't high enough. The arm and everything else, it's all going to benefit from this."

Park, originally from upstate New York, counts several offers from Southeastern Conference programs. Alabama offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier and defensive line coach Chris Rumph are set to visit his South Carolina school soon to watch Park throw, he said.

Henderson recently committed to North Carolina. He said the decision lifted a weight off his shoulders.

"It feels kind of weird, because usually, I'm doing this in part to impress coaches," Henderson said. "I'll email coaches and say how I did and give references to people who I knew were here.

"Now, I'm not really trying to impress anyone. It's a great feeling."

Well, he's still got to impress Trent Dilfer, Jordan Palmer and the Elite 11 staff. Invites will continue to be dispersed throughout the spring. The next Elite 11 regional is set for Chicago on May 3.