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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Bryan Manning

K.J. Henry excited to be with the Commanders and ready to work

The Washington Commanders love high-character players who produced at Power 5 schools. No one in their 2023 NFL draft class fits that profile like former Clemson defensive end K.J. Henry.

Washington moved up in the fifth round to select the former Clemson Tiger, who finished his college career with 28 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.

Shortly after the Commanders selected Henry, we saw the video of Henry learning that Washington picked him and sharing an embrace with his father — a longtime Washington fan. Henry’s father came down the stairs wearing a 2002 Jeremiah Trotter jersey with a Redskins hat.

We also learned the story of Henry, with the help of some of his teammates, using NIL to raise money to help find his father a kidney.

Earlier this week, Henry joined “Grant and Danny” on 106.7 The Fan and made quite an impression on Washington fans even if he was formerly a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Henry talked about how he didn’t have a lot of contact with Washington ahead of the draft, and most of his contact came via assistant defensive line coach Ryan Kerrigan, who happens to be the franchise’s all-time sack leader.

Henry first got to know Kerrigan at the Senior Bowl in January when Kerrigan helped coach the defensive line, and he shared with Kerrigan how his dad was a massive fan of No. 91.

Grant Paulsen later asked Henry what NFL player he’d compare himself to and Henry humbly answered the question.

“I can’t necessarily say comp, but definitely people I study due to the measurables that are similar to mine are Chandler Jones, Shaq Barrett and Robert Quinn,” Henry answered.

Paulsen also asked Quinn if he was more of a power or speed rusher and he explained that he could be both, but ended with the following answer.

“If I gotta go around you, I’ll go around you,” Henry said. “And if I gotta go through you, I’ll go through you.”


The best part of the interview, from a Washington perspective. Within 5-10 minutes of the Commanders picking Henry, his dad went upstairs and was dressed in Washington’s colors from head to toe, including burgundy shoes.

The Henry family will be popular among Washington fans.


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