Josh Henson, a former standout offensive lineman at Oklahoma State, enters his fourth year as LSU’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. In just three short years with the Tigers, Henson has developed the reputation as being a tremendous on-field coach, while leading the charge for LSU’s recruiting efforts that have ranked among the top 10 in the nation three times.
In 2007, Henson’s coaching efforts helped sophomore tight end Richard Dickson put together one of the most productive seasons at the position in school history. Dickson caught 32 passes for 375 yards and five scores in 2007, which marks the third-highest single-season reception total by a Tiger tight end in school history. Dickson capped the 2007 season by catching a pair of TD passes in LSU’s 38-24 win over Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game.
As a unit, LSU’s offense set a total of 10 school records in 2007, including points in a season and total yards in a season. The Tiger tight ends contributed to the offense by accounting for 36 receptions and six scores, while also providing blocking for a unit that rushed for 2,998 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Following the 2007 season, LSU tight end Keith Zinger was selected in the seventh round of the NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
As LSU’s recruiting coordinator, Henson’s abilities have made an immediate impact on the Tiger roster as LSU had the nation’s No. 2-ranked signing class in 2007 after a consensus top 6 national rating in 2006. For his efforts, Henson was been ranked as one of college football’s top 25 recruiters in 2006 and 2007 by Rivals.com.
In 2006, Henson molded Dickson, who was then a true freshman, into an all-conference performer. Dickson also earned honorable mention Freshman All-America honors. Despite being in his first year of college football, Dickson stepped in and started nine games after veteran Keith Zinger went down with a season ending injury in September. In his first year at LSU in 2005, Henson’s tight ends combined for 20 catches for 256 yards and one touchdown.
At Oklahoma State, Henson was instrumental in the development of Billy Bajema, who was a three-year starter for the Cowboys. As a senior in 2004, Bajema was one of the top tight ends in the country, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors after catching 20 passes for 293 yards and one touchdown. Bajema was picked in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Bajema played in 14 games for the 49ers a year ago, missing two games due to injury.
Off the field, Bajema was selected as a National Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation as well as earning the Bobby Bowden Award, which is given by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to a student-athlete for displaying faith in all facets of their life.
Henson was a key component in the development of Charlie Johnson, a member of the Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl Championship team in 2006. Johnson spent three years as a tight end under Henson before moving to offensive tackle as a senior. Johnson was later selected in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Colts.
Henson also played a vital role in OSU’s offensive development as the Cowboys ranked among the top 15 scoring teams in the nation for three consecutive years. The Cowboys averaged over 34 points per game from 2002-04, which included 35.9 points per game in 2003 and 34.5 points a game in 2004.
Critical to any rushing attack is the play of the tight ends and in four years with the Cowboys, Henson’s tight ends paved the way for a ground game that improved each year. The Cowboys ranked 11th in the nation in rushing in 2003 and followed that with the nation’s 12th-best rushing attack in 2004.
As Oklahoma State’s recruiting coordinator, Henson played a key role in OSU’s 2003 signing class being ranked No. 15 in the nation by Rivals.com. A year earlier, Rivals.com rated the Cowboy class as the 26th-best in the country.
As a player, Henson was a four-year letterwinner with 40 career starts for Oklahoma State from 1993-97. He was a starter on the offensive line as well as team captain for Oklahoma State’s 8-4 team in 1997, a squad that played in the Alamo Bowl against Purdue. He was a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a senior in addition to being an honorable mention All-Big 12 pick as a junior. Off the field, Henson was named the recipient of the L.L. Boger Award as a senior, an honor that recognizes a student-athlete’s achievement both on the field and in the classroom.
Henson graduated from Oklahoma State with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1998. Upon graduation, he went straight into coaching, serving as a high school football coach in Kingfisher, Okla. In one season at Kingfisher, he helped guide the Yellowjackets to the state semifinals.
Henson returned to Oklahoma State as a graduate assistant in July of 1999, spending one year with the Cowboy offensive line before taking a full-time position with the Cowboys as tight ends coach in 2001.
Henson, a native of Tuttle, Okla., was born on July 14, 1975. He and his wife Shauna have a 5-year old son, Will, and a 2-year old daughter, Kate. Henson lists golf, fishing and hunting as his hobbies in his spare time.
The Henson File
Year at LSU: Fourth
Birthdate: July 14, 1975, in Tuttle, Okla.
Children: Will (5), Kate (2)
High School: Tuttle, ’93
College: Oklahoma State, ’98
1993-97 Oklahoma State (offensive lineman)
1999 Oklahoma State (graduate assistant)
2001-04 Oklahoma State (tight ends/recruiting coordinator)
2005- LSU (tight ends/recruiting coordinator)
As a Player
1997 Alamo Bowl (Oklahoma State lost to Purdue, 33-20)
As a Coach
2002 Houston Bowl (Oklahoma State def. Southern Miss, 33-23)
2003 Cotton Bowl (Oklahoma State lost to Ole Miss, 31-28)
2004 Alamo Bowl (Oklahoma State lost to Ohio State, 33-7)
2005 Peach Bowl (LSU def. Miami, 40-3)
2007 Sugar Bowl (LSU def. Notre Dame, 41-14)
2008 BCS National Championship Game (LSU def. Ohio State, 38-24)