Photos by Mark Campbell and Mikey Reeves May 02, 2023
Henderson, Pitts sign NFL UDFA contracts
The University of Delaware's footprint in the NFL grew this past weekend as a pair of recent graduates have earned the opportunity to continue their dreams of playing in the NFL. Quarterback Nolan Henderson and wide receiver Thyrick Pitts both signed undrafted free agent (UDFA) contracts with the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears, respectively, following the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Henderson had a remarkable final season in the Blue and Gold, earning All-CAA honors for the second time in his career. The Smyrna, Delaware native set the UD record with 32 passing touchdowns in 2-22 and also became the second in program history to surpass 50 career touchdowns, finishing with 56. He twice threw for five touchdowns in a game (Hampton, Monmouth) to become the first UD quarterback to accomplish the feat multiple times. He was twice named the CAA Offensive Player of the Week and earned National Offensive Player of the Week honors after passing for 379 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-21 victory at Rhode Island. Henderson finished his Delaware career ranked third in program history in completions (547), fourth in pass attempts (859) and fifth in passing yards (6,413).
Pitts was an All-CAA Third Team selection, his third-straight all-conference honor, following the 2022 season when he ranked second on the Blue Hens with 57 catches for 631 yards and tied for the CAA lead with 10 touchdown catches. He surpassed the 2,000-career receiving yards milestone in September against Hampton, a game in which he caught three touchdown passes, becoming the first Blue Hen since 2013 to accomplish the feat. Pitts finished his UD career ranked among the top 10 in several career statistics including receptions (172), receiving yards (2,429) and touchdown catches (23). In Delaware's playoff game at South Dakota State, Pitts set the program record with a catch in 43-consecutive games, dating back to the 2019 season opener.
The two Blue Hens join several others who are currently in the NFL. Troy Reeder recently signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings, while Bilal Nichols is entering his second year with the Las Vegas Raiders. Additionally, Joe Fortunato is on a futures contract with the Arizona Cardinals while Joe Flacco, Nick Boyle and Zach Kerr are all currently free agents. The Kansas City Chiefs have three Blue Hens on staff in Brett Veach (general manager), Matt Nagy (offensive coordinator) and Joe Bleymaier (assistant coach) while Patrick Callaway is a scout with the Tennessee Titans.
Tickets for the 2023 football season are on sale now and can be purchased online. Fans can buy single-game tickets, season tickets or partial plan packages. Season ticket members receive price savings over singles games, early access to purchase tickets to Penn State, invitations to member events and more.
For the latest on the Delaware football program, follow the Blue Hens on Twitter @Delaware_FB and Instagram @delaware_fb, and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.
For more about UD athletics, visit BlueHens.com.
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