Florida Gators freshman C.J. Henderson purloined another ball from the offense on Saturday against the Tennessee Volunteers, and turned it into his second pick-six in as many games, punctuating a scintillating start to his collegiate career.
This time, it got him honored by the SEC, as the conference named Henderson its Freshman of the Week on Monday.
From Florida’s release:
He became the first Florida freshman to record a pick-six in back-to-back games in program history and the first Gator to do so according to records dating back to 1973.
He is also the only true freshman in the nation to have returned an interception for a touchdown in consecutive games, according to records dating back to the 1996 season.
The former stat is incredible, given Florida’s absurd recent history of true freshman defensive backs balling out almost from the second they stepped on campus — a lineage that runs from Lito Sheppard to Keiwan Ratliff to Joe Haden to Janoris Jenkins to Vernon Hargreaves III to Teez Tabor.
That latter stat could mean that Henderson is the only true freshman to have done this in college football history. The caveat about records dating back to 1996 almost certainly means that records on players by class were not kept prior to that, and true freshmen have only been consistent contributors to college football in the last generation or two.
Through two games, Henderson is also just two pick-sixes shy of the school record, held by — of all people — Brandon Spikes. Several players, including Ratliff, Tabor, Duke Dawson, and current Florida assistant Ahmad Black, are tied for second with three interception return touchdowns pick-six