5-star DE K.J. Henry: "Clemson will be in it for the long run"
|Monday, July 10, 2017, 1:07 PM- -|
K.J. Henry doesn’t get on Twitter and play one fan base against another, he doesn’t beg for retweets and followers and he doesn’t like to do interviews. Recruiting news on Henry is quiet despite the fact that he’s a 5-star and one of the most coveted defensive ends in the 2018 recruiting cycle.
When Henry does do interviews, however, it pays to listen. The good news for Clemson fans is that the Tigers look to be in good shape with the Clemmons (NC) West Forsyth star.
Henry spoke at length with TigerNet at last week’s The Opening at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, and talked about his experiences.
“I've had a great time out here. There are some relationships that were already built and it's great seeing them again,” Henry said. “And I've had a good time building some new ones. I see why everybody tries to get to this point in their career. It's definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am not taking it for granted.”
Many Clemson fans became concerned when it was learned that Henry won’t attend the All In Cookout next week, but he says its much ado about nothing and that the Clemson coaching staff understands why he won’t be there.
“I think some people are just hyping it and making too big a deal of it, to be honest with you,” Henry said. “I will not be there, but it's only - and I mean only - because I have a team event, a 7-on-7. When I finally looked at the calendar and put them together and realized I couldn't make it, I let coach know. It's nothing crazy or that I hate Clemson or anything like that. It's just that team comes first. I really want to be able to participate with my teammates.”
During his time in Oregon, Henry spent time with current Clemson commit and fellow defensive end Xavier Thomas. Thomas is a player he would love to play with someday.
“I love spending time with him, and being out here competing with and against him,” Henry said of Thomas. “He definitely makes me a better player, and being with him and competing with him is fun. I tell everybody that would be a positive (to play on the same team), having that kind of talent on both ends of the ball. It would be like picking your poison. He would complement my game.”
Henry was close with former Clemson defensive ends coach Marion Hobby, but Hobby left in January to take a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL. Hobby’s replacement is Todd Bates, and Henry has been forming a bond with Bates.
“I hear from them (the Clemson coaches) pretty often. With Coach Bates being a new coach, I've let him into my life a little bit more than all of the other coaches because I haven't been able to build that relationship with him over the past couple of years,” Henry said. “But I am in a good place right now, and I am taking it slow right now with all of these colleges. Clemson is one of the schools that I really like, and the coaches know that. They are in a good place and communicating with me very well and in a good place with me right now.”
Clemson will be in it until the end with Henry.
“Clemson will be in it for the long run. As long as they keep doing what they are doing, and respecting me and my family, and keeping it real on and off the field, I don't see a reason why I wouldn't stick with them until I make my decision,” he said.