It’s insane to look back on now and think about John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth starting together at defensive tackle for Tennessee football during this time, but that’s what they did. At the college level, Henderson was the bigger star, although both were elite at both levels and made multiple NFL Pro Bowls eventually.
Still, Henderson’s 2000 campaign was insane for a defensive tackle. That year, he had 12 sacks, which is incredible for a guy playing in the middle, and he had 21 overall tackles for a loss. Add in four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two pass breakups to go along with 71 total tackles, 64 of which were solo, and he did it all up front.
There was no doubt that Henderson was the best interior lineman that year, so he won the award for it. What really stood out when he accepted the Outland Trophy, though, was when he went on stage and announced that he would return to the Vols for his senior season.
Doing that was huge. Henderson battled injuries that final year but still reached All-American honors with four and a half sacks, eight and a half tackles for a loss, two fumble recoveries and three pass breakups. He was a monster in the middle and earned this trophy.