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Where Are They Now? 2004 New Orleans Saints draft pick Devery Henderson

The Saints moved down two spots in a draft day trade to take Devery Henderson and upgrade the wide receiver position, and Henderson made it pay off.


By Jim Kleinpeter, special to

After a football career full of championships and highlight reel plays, former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Devery Henderson returned to the sidelines last fall.

Henderson hadn't been there since hanging up his shoulder pads for good after the 2012 season, but he found new life and inspiration as wide receivers coach at Karr High School in Algiers.

"I really enjoyed that; I went everywhere with them and tried to coach them up," said Henderson, who still lives in the New Orleans area. "I saw football from a different view, and I enjoyed helping the kids."

Henderson may have broken the seal on a second career, at least in the opinion of his new boss. Karr Coach Brice Brown said Henderson checked all the boxes and has a future in the profession if he wants it.

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"He did great," Brown said. "It's good for the development of the young guys to learn it from a pro. He didn't try to develop them like a pro but told them small things that could help them develop their game, basic wide receiver play.

"He's going to develop into a real good coach. He knows how to talk to kids and reach them before he tries to teach them anything about football. That's going to do nothing but further his career. He'll go up in levels because of his abilities."

Henderson brings great stature after a college and pro career of huge accomplishments. One year after becoming a national icon by catching the Bluegrass Miracle Hail Mary touchdown pass on the final play of LSU's 33-30 victory over Kentucky in 2002, he helped the Tigers to a BCS National Championship under Nick Saban.

He was a second-round pick by the Saints in 2004, the No. 50 player taken overall. The Saints moved down two spots in a draft day trade to take him and upgrade the wide receiver position, and Henderson made it pay off.

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As the deep threat alternative to reception machine Marques Colston, Henderson caught 245 passes for 4,377 yards and 20 TDs in his nine-year career. He ranks first among Saints receivers all-time in yards per catch (17.9) and seventh in receiving yardage. He led the NFL with a 24.8 per catch average in 2008.

Henderson's best year was the championship season when he caught 51 passes for 804 yards and two TDs. He caught seven passes for 63 yards in the 31-17 Super Bowl win against the Colts. He was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 2022.

Now Henderson is spreading his knowledge of not just football, but track, too. He was a two-time state champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at Opelousas High School. At LSU he ran on the national championship 4x100 meter relay team in 2001.

"We expect him back next year," Brown said. "He's been around our track guys helping them with fundamentals. He's a great guy, great to be around. He blends in well. You don't even know you have a Saints Hall of Famer working with you. He's very humble, easy to work with and easy to talk to. It's been a pleasure to have him."

Henderson said he most enjoys spending time with his family and his car collection. He is part owner of Energy Valve Solutions with fellow former LSU Tiger Kevin Faulk and makes occasional public appearances and does volunteer work through the Saints organization.

New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson and legend Devery Henderson joined volunteers from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana at Second Harvest to help prepare meals.

He admits he has golf clubs, but they have mostly "stayed in the closet" since he got them, and always has time for former Saints teammates.

"I love all my guys," he said. "I reach out when I start missing them. It's a bond that can't be broken."

He's never forgotten the special moment he was drafted, allowing him to play his whole career in his home state.

"That watch party ended up turning into a big block party after it was announced," Henderson recalled with a chuckle. "All of Opelousas started coming out, they knew we would be (at his grandmother's house). It went all night, a city-wide event. It was a memorable experience."

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