Henderson leaving Hawaii for Portland St.

Former Skyview football standout returns close to home

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 
photoEllis Henderson

Former Skyview football standout Ellis Henderson is coming home.

Well, close to home anyway.

Henderson, who was a grayshirt athlete in football this season and a part-time student at the University of Hawaii, is in the process of changing schools and said he intends to sign with Portland State University.

He visited with the Vikings over the winter break.

“It was interesting. I (know) Portland, but I had never actually been on campus,” Henderson said. “It’s really nice campus, a really nice school. I was weary of taking the trip. In the end, I was really happy I did.”

Things did not go as planned at Hawaii.

“It’s not just one thing. There were a lot of factors,” Henderson said of his decision.

Henderson, who graduated from Skyview in 2011, signed with Hawaii last February. As a grayshirt athlete, he was told he could come to Hawaii as a part-time student and work out with the team and learn the playbook, in preparation of becoming a full-time student and then playing for the Warriors beginning in the fall of 2012.

“I was promised a lot of stuff and told a lot of things that didn’t really come true,” Henderson said. “The biggest thing for me coming out here was being part of a family. It was totally the opposite. I had to do things on my own. I wasn’t prepared for that. I had an idea of what it was going to be like, and that did not manifest. That’s the bottom line.”

Hawaii also just went through a coaching change, and Henderson said he missed his family.

“I definitely would have liked to watch my brother play and Skyview play because they were awesome this year,” Henderson said.

Reiley Henderson, a junior at Skyview, was an All-Region wide receiver for Skyview, which made it to the Class 4A state championship game.

Ellis Henderson started looking for other options in early December.

Henderson sent his high school highlight videos to college coaches and made contact with a number of programs that had offered him last year.

“Portland State was the first one to jump, and they asked me to visit,” Henderson said.

Henderson said he was told he will have the chance to play cornerback as well as some wide receiver packages. He also expects to be in the return game.

“The opportunity to do all those things right away is pretty nice,” he said.

Henderson said he can enroll at PSU in April, work with the team in the spring, and he will be eligible to play in the fall. He also said he will be eligible to play four seasons in five years.

Henderson spoke to The Columbian via phone from Hawaii, where he is packing for the move. He said he expects to be in Vancouver by Monday.