- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 12, 2001

E.J. Henderson burst on to the national scene this season while blasting through offensive lines and delivering bone-jarring hits. Yesterday, the Maryland linebacker completed his rise from relative obscurity prior to the season to become the program's first Associated Press first-team All-American in more than a quarter of a century.
The junior from Aberdeen, Md., is the first Terrapin to earn the honor since NFL Hall of Fame defensive tackle Randy White in 1973 and '74.
"I would be disappointed if I didn't get it," said Henderson, the ACC Player of the Year. "I have been [surpassing] all my goals from before the season."
Henderson was one of 26 first-team All-Americans, including two quarterbacks: Nebraska's Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch, an all-purpose selection, and Florida sophomore Rex Grossman. The Gators, whom the Terps face in the Orange Bowl Jan. 2, led all teams with four first-team selections: Grossman, wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, offensive tackle Mike Pearson and defensive end Alex Brown.
The 6-foot-2, 238-pound Henderson has disrupted offenses while leading Maryland to a 10-1 record. Henderson, who is deciding whether to skip his senior season for the NFL, led the team with 150 tackles, 28 for losses. He had six sacks, an interception and returned a fumble 36 yards for a touchdown against Georgia Tech.
"[White] called me after the Florida State game and said how proud he was of how we played," said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, a Terps graduate assistant during the early part of White's collegiate career. "He said, 'Who's that [No.]42? He's a hell of a football player.' I said, 'Randy, you and E.J. would get along pretty well. You don't say a whole lot, but you play football the same way.'"
The defensive line has four standout ends North Carolina's Julius Peppers, Syracuse's Dwight Freeney, Tennessee's John Henderson and Brown. The other defensive All-Americans are linebackers Rocky Calmus of Oklahoma, Levar Fisher of N.C. State and Robert Thomas of UCLA.
Purdue's Travis Dorsch is the first-team punter and made third team as a kicker.
The first-team offense also includes Miami tackle Bryant McKinnie, running backs Luke Staley of BYU and Travis Stephens of Tennessee, and wide receiver Josh Reed of LSU.
Oklahoma's Roy Williams is in the secondary with Miami's Edward Reed, Texas' Quentin Jammer and Washington State's Lamont Thompson.
The rest of the offense: Colorado tight end Dan Graham, Ohio State center LeCharles Bentley, Nebraska lineman Toniu Fonoti, Colorado lineman Andre Gurode and Auburn kicker David Duval.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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