Florida football: WR Xzavier Henderson entering transfer portal

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Florida Gators wide receiver Xzavier Henderson (3) runs upfield in the second half after a reception. Florida hosted the South Carolina Gamecocks in the last home game of the season at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, on Saturday, November 12, 2022. The Gators won 38-6.  [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

Florida Gators starting wide receiver Xzavier Henderson is the latest UF player to enter the transfer portal, a source confirmed Saturday.

Henderson started 11 games at receiver for the Gators last season, finishing with a team-high 38 receptions for 410 yards and 2 TDs.

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In UF's second scrimmage this spring, Henderson caught three TD passes. But Henderson didn't carry over that momentum into the Orange and Blue game last week. He had a pair of drops and finished with just three catches in eight targets for 38 yards, with minus-two yards after the catch.

Henderson's departure will likely open up more playing time for receivers Caleb Douglas and Kahleil Jackson, who were named as two of eight most-improved players in spring drills. Jackson and junior receiver Marcus Burke caught touchdown passes in the spring game.

With Henderson's departure, Florida is now down to three returning starters on offense -- wide receiver Ricky Pearsall, center Kingsley Eguakun and running back Montrell Johnson. Austin Barber, who started five games at tackle last season, also is back, along with tight end Dante Zanders, who started seven games at tight end.

The loss of Henderson also will be felt on special teams, as he was Florida's lead punt returner last season. Henderson had 11 punt returns for 108 yards last season, with a long of 48 yards. Pearsall, who returned punts in the Orange and Blue game, could step into the punt return role next season.

Henderson joins edge rusher Antwaun Powell-Ryland and offensive lineman David Conner as the second and third Florida players to enter the portal this spring. That leaves Florida at 79 scholarship players, six under the FBS limit of 85 scholarship players.