Henderson’s decision to bypass the Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 22 was expected after he announced on Wednesday that he planned to enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
The 5-foot-9, 200-pound Henderson had a spectacular junior season for the Tigers, rushing for 1,909 yards and a nation-leading 22 touchdowns.
Henderson capped his collegiate career by rushing for 210 yards and three scores, including touchdowns of 82 and 62 yards, in a 56-41 loss to unbeaten Central Florida in the American Athletic Conference championship game on Dec. 1.
It was the third 200-yard game and the ninth 100-yard outing of the season for Henderson, who finished second to Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor in rushing and third nationally in yards per carry (8.9).
Henderson, who rushed for 1,154 yards as a sophomore, leaves Memphis as the school’s No. 2 career leading rusher behind only DeAngelo Williams.
Junior Patrick Taylor is expected to start in Henderson’s place against Wake Forest. He also surpassed 1,000 yards rushing this season and ran for 15 scores this season. Taylor, who rushed for 118 yards and a TD in the AAC title game, also ran for 13 scores as a sophomore.
“I mean you got to prepare, you never know what’s going to happen. You look back at the multiple other times this year that Darrell was not available in games,” said Tigers coach Mike Norvell of playing without Henderson. “And … you look at the production that we’ve been able to have from that spot, regardless of who’s back there. You know, I’ve got a lot of confidence.”