Not being the first option is an aspect that’s too familiar for TE Christopher Herndon IV. The Norcross, Georgia, native led his local high school to the Class 6A State Championship in his senior season. Herndon’s high school career ended with 33 career catches for 543 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns. Regardless of the productive season, Herndon only had a modest amount of FBS offers. Yet when one of those offers is from the University of Miami—it can’t be all that bad, choosing The U over offers from Mississippi State, Western Kentucky and Charlotte.
Many of the Hurricanes saw plenty of playing time in their freshman season. Learning to play the tight end position requires patience and understanding which only comes from repetition and practice. Learning the subtle nuances of playing the tight end would help explain why, in his freshman season, Herndon received minimal game experience. Though he did not account for any stats that season, the reps that he received were more valuable in learning the nuances of the position.
With a year of experience under his belt, Herndon was able to make an impact on the field as a sophomore. Playing in all 13 games that season, Herndon experienced a couple career firsts. His first career reception against FAU, his first touchdown reception against Nebraska and the first start of his career against Virginia Tech. Although he was never featured in the offense, Herndon finished the season with 18 receptions for 237 receiving yards and one touchdown.
While Herndon moved up the depth chart in his junior season, he still remained in the shadow of TE David Njoku. Herndon once again played in all 13 games for the ‘Canes, starting 12 of the games as a tight end. Well, that’s when Herndon lined up at the traditional TE position, as he often was used as H-back in the backfield, as well as out wide along the line of scrimmage. Herndon plied his trade helping to set up running lanes, and working the short and underneath routes in Miami’s passing attack. Herndon still managed to have 28 receptions for 334 receiving yards on the season.
This is the season that Christopher Herndon was projected to be the guy at TE and a featured member on offense. For the most part, that idea has held up in his senior season. While he’s not often the first option in Miami’s passing game, Herndon does the most with the opportunities provided to him. Herndon has just two drops on 34 catchable balls according to Pro Football Focus. Surpassing most of his single-season best marks before the end of the season, this TE has finally come into his own at the right moment for both player and program. Herndon has 36 catches for 422 receiving yards, four touchdowns and an 11.7 yards per catch average. Whether it was his 10 catches for 96 receiving yards against Syracuse or his 43-yard touchdown gallop against Virginia Tech, Herndon is no longer just a compliment, but a featured star for the Hurricanes offense as he steps into the spotlight for his final season.
To further illustrate his production this season, Herndon was named a semi-finalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the most exceptional tight end in the nation after the regular season.
State of the U salutes Christopher Herndon and the rest of the 2017 senior class.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!