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Quarterback Malik Henry no longer enrolled at Nevada, leaves Wolf Pack program

Malik Henry
Malik Henry started two games for Nevada in 2019 but won't return in 2020. (Byrne Photo/Nevada athletics)

Malik Henry's time with the Nevada football program is over.

The well-traveled quarterback, who started two games for the Wolf Pack during the 2019 season, is no longer enrolled at the university after the spring semester started Tuesday, a Wolf Pack spokesperson told Nevada Sports Net.

Nevada added the 6-foot-2 Henry to its roster as a walk-on in January 2019 to provide depth at quarterback. Henry is a former four-star recruit who began his career at Florida State before two seasons at Independence (Kan.) Community College where he was a central figure in Netflix's Last Chance U season three documentary.

The Long Beach, Calif., native, who also had stints at four high schools, had one good start and one bad one during his lone season with the Wolf Pack. Henry was the third quarterback to start a game for Nevada in 2019 and led the Wolf Pack to a 41-38 victory over San Jose State on Oct. 12 (the 41 points were a season high for Nevada). He completed 22-of-37 passes for 352 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions against the Spartans. The next week, Henry got the start against Utah State and completed 17-of-38 passes for 213 yards and two interceptions in a 36-10 loss to the Aggies on Oct. 19. He also completed 3-of-3 passes for 28 yards in a 37-21 win over UTEP.

During his three games at Nevada, which marked his first playing time at the FBS level, Henry completed 42-of-78 passes (53.8 percent) for 593 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. He ran 11 times for seven yards.

Henry came to Nevada amid a lot of fanfare given his lofty recruiting rankings coming out of high school. ESPN ranked Henry as the 17th-best prospect and second-best dual-threat quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class. ranked him 34th in the class and second at his position. And 247Sports ranked Henry as the No. 22 recruit in his class. Each pegged him as a four-star recruit. But Henry was suspended for rules violations early in his Florida State career and opted to transfer after a season before landing at Independence, where he struggled to produce on the field and battled with coaches and teammates off it, as depicted in Last Chance U.

Given a fresh start at Nevada, Henry wooed fans during the Silver & Blue Spring Game, completing 16-of-28 passes for 211 yards and one touchdown with no turnovers.

“These coaches are great," Henry said after the spring game. "The first day they really welcomed me in here and treated me like family. A lot of other places can say they do that, but here I felt that. I’ve been at a lot of other places, but here at Nevada they really practice what they preach. I really appreciate all of the coaches for giving me a shot. I appreciate all of the coaches for not slighting me or looking at me differently because of my past and the show. I just really appreciate them and appreciate the team for accepting me and it’s been great so far. I’m happy with where I’m at.”

A strained hamstring limited Henry during fall camp and he served as the backup quarterback for a season-opening win over Purdue. Injuries and a lack of production at the quarterback position allowed Henry to move into the starting role for two games before he was removed from participation following the Utah State loss so he could focus on academics and life outside of football while remaining a member of the team in good standing.

Earlier this month, Nevada head coach Jay Norvell said he still had to talk to Henry about his future with the program as the spring semester loomed.

“I need to have a conversation with Malik here before this semester starts and we’ll review his academics," Norvell said Jan. 10. "That hasn’t been finalized yet."

Henry was slated to be a senior in 2020, so he could land with another college program given he has one season of eligibility remaining. The departure leaves Nevada with four quarterbacks on the 2020 roster, including three on scholarship in returning starter Carson Strong (a sophomore to be), redshirt freshman Kaiden Bennett and junior Kaymen Cureton. Sophomore Hamish McClure is a walk-on. Henry is the third quarterback with eligibility to leave Nevada in the last 10 months, joining Griffin Dahn, who transferred to Albany seeking more playing time, and Austin Kirksey, who transferred to Georgia to be closer to home.

Wide receiver John Humphrey, a transfer from Arizona State who began his career at Oklahoma before playing for Nevada last season, also isn't enrolled for the spring semester. Humphrey caught four passes for 28 yards in 2019 and had the potential for one more season of eligibility if a waiver was approved after not playing in the 2015, 2016 and 2018 seasons.

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