Henry leaving Arizona because of slim playing time

Updated: December 19, 2006, 1:31 AM ET
Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. -- University of Arizona starting tailback Chris Henry is leaving the program and will declare for the NFL draft, the Tucson Citizen reported Monday.

The junior rushed for a team-high 581 yards and seven touchdowns on 165 carries this season, an average of 3.5 yards per attempt. He started the first two games, was replaced in the lineup by Chris Jennings for six games, and then did the bulk of his rushing in the final four games.

Henry cited a lack of playing time early in the season as a key reason for making his decision to leave. He also expressed concern over the uncertainty of his role in new offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes' spread offense.

Henry said his focus will be on full-time training so he can be prepared for individual workouts with NFL teams. He is hoping to be invited to the NFL scouting combine in February.

Senior-to-be Chris Jennings and Xavier Smith, who will be a sophomore, are the expected front-runners to be the starting tailback.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press