In a continuing effort to refill the slots, the Hawaii football team yesterday secured an oral commitment from Ellis Henderson of Skyview High in Vancouver, Wash.
Henderson said he notified the UH coaches of his decision after completing his 48-hour recruiting trip to Hawaii.
"Everything felt right about Hawaii," Henderson said. "I like the family atmosphere. I’m glad I made the choice."
Henderson said he received scholarship offers from Washington State, Southern Methodist, Idaho and Montana. He said he had been in discussions with Washington.
"I wanted to go somewhere where I felt comfortable," Henderson said. "I felt that in Hawaii."
Henderson said he is 6 feet and 180 pounds. Dawgman.com, a Washington-based scouting service, said Henderson is capable of running 40 yards in 4.45 seconds and has a vertical jump of 36 inches.
Henderson played wide receiver, cornerback, punt returner and kick returner at Skyview, which is a 15-minute drive from Portland.
Henderson’s parents and UH running back Alex Green’s father are friends.
Henderson said he has been told he will compete at slotback in training camp. The Warriors’ starting slotbacks, Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares, are seniors who will be completing their NCAA eligibility with the Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl.
Henderson, a center fielder for Skyview’s baseball team, has been told he also will be allowed to play that sport at UH.
His second cousin is Rickey Henderson, a Hall of Fame outfielder and baseball’s career leader in steals and runs scored.
Ellis Henderson said his parents owned a second house near Oregon’s Cannon Beach, where he learned to surf. Hawaii’s beaches factored in his decision.
Henderson said the Northwest waters are chilly, even in the summer. He said he wore a hooded wetsuit when he surfed there.
"It was worth it," said Henderson, who likes to bodyboard.
Henderson said his first name was taken from the Bible’s Elijah. He said his coaches often refer to him as "Easy."
"I don’t really have a nickname," he said.