Former Kansas University wide receiver Marcus Henry, a key member of KU’s 2008 Orange Bowl championship team, has a new home north of the border.
Henry, 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League on Tuesday. He joined the CFL after a three-year stint in the NFL, during which he spent two years on the New York Jets’ practice squad and a portion of last season with the Carolina Panthers. Though he never found his way onto an active NFL roster, it appears big things could be in Henry’s future in Canada.
“We’re very pleased to sign Marcus,” Eskimos GM Eric Tillman said. “He’s a big smooth target, a legitimate 6-4 receiver who should create some matchup problems for opposing teams. As the old saying goes, ‘You can’t coach size,’ and Marcus is not only tall, but he also plays big.”
Henry, a sixth-round pick of the Jets in the 2008 NFL Draft, played four seasons at Kansas, including a senior year in which he started all 13 games for the 12-1 Jayhawks and finished with 1,014 yards and 10 touchdowns. It was as much his time at KU as his time in the NFL that caught Tillman’s eye.
“During his career at Kansas, Marcus caught quite a few contested balls utilizing his height and jumping skills,” Tillman said. “Upgrading our receiving corps was one of our top offseason priorities, and we feel signing Marcus is another step in the right direction.”
Henry was in Lawrence last month as he attended KU’s pro day and mingled with former teammates. He’ll join the Eskimos immediately and will begin preparing for the team’s season opener, which is slated for June 17.
Stuckey set to tie the knot
Lawrence will be a hotbed for former KU football players this weekend, many of whom will be in town to attend the Saturday wedding of former KU safety Darrell Stuckey and Lacie Reed, the older sister of KU basketball player Tyrel Reed.
Stuckey, who was drafted in the fourth round by the San Diego Chargers in the 2010 NFL Draft, spent most of last year living in Southern California, helping to plan the wedding from afar. He’s been back in Lawrence, working out and talking wedding, since late January, and the two Jayhawks will be married Saturday afternoon in Lawrence.
Stuckey said the couple invited more than 300 people to the ceremony — many of them former teammates — and joked that they’d have to have bouncers at the door to make sure people didn’t crash the event.
In addition to the presence of a handful of new names — some walk-ons, some transfers — there are a couple of other noticeable changes to the 2011 spring football roster.
Four players are listed at different positions than they were on the 2010 roster: Tyler Hunt, a junior from Lawrence, has moved from fullback to tight end; Randall Dent, a sophomore from Grand Prairie, Texas, has moved from defensive tackle to offensive line; Kevin Young, a sophomore from Olathe, has moved from defensive end to defensive tackle; and Keba Agostinho, a sophomore from Katy, Texas, also has moved from defensive end to defensive tackle.
One curious thing about the new roster is that, despite roughly six months having passed since the last one was released, the heights and weights of all returning players were the same. Those numbers are likely to change when the official season roster is released, as several players appear to have added or dropped weight in the offseason.