Tuesday recruiting insider: More intel on K.J. Henry
|Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 7:01 AM- -|
ROEBUCK – No matter which end of the field K.J. Henry was working on Monday, he drew a crowd.
The 5-star Clemmons (NC) West Forsyth defensive end is one of the stars on a star-studded North Carolina team participating in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas this week. The Clemson target is just eight days away from making his college decision – the Tigers might have the edge as of today – and Henry was honest when he met with reporters after the first practice.
The message board rumor mill has been rampant in recent weeks with the thought that Henry could follow his dad to a school if his dad was hired as a full-time coach.
His father, Keith Henry, is the running backs coach at Charlotte. With schools being able to add a 10th full-time assistant in January, it’s within the realm of possibility that his father could land a job at one of his son’s final choices.
With that in mind, I point-blank asked Henry if that was something he has to take into consideration and he said yes.
“Out of my five schools, if my dad were to end up anywhere, obviously that’s what he loves to do and he is part of my family and I like all five schools enough to where that could be a big decision coming forward,” Henry said. “It’s nothing where it is an analyst type deal or anything like that, but if he could go in and coach that would be big.
“At the same time, we have already talked about that. He is not pressuring me like if he were to get a job he’s letting every coach know that doesn’t ensure that I’m committing there. It’s still my decision, but it is definitely something I think about.”
It will be interesting to see what happens in the next eight days and how that affects Henry’s recruitment. My guess, and it’s only a guess, is that none of the schools in the final mix would do that simply because of the implications of impropriety. It’s just not a good look.
Back to recruiting, Henry was going to use his final official visit at Alabama this past weekend until the Crimson Tide cancelled, seemingly knocking Alabama out of the picture. Georgia, another final contender, hasn’t conducted an in-home visit with Henry or his family.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, defensive coordinator Brent Venables and defensive line coach Todd Bates visited last Wednesday. Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente visited last Monday and South Carolina’s Will Muschamp visited last Thursday.
Henry told us that Muschamp – who is trying to build a program in Columbia – is trying to sell him on being a pioneer like Jadeveon Clowney. That seemed to resonate with Henry, but I spoke with a number of people Monday who seem to think that Virginia Tech and Clemson are the final two.
As for Monday's workout – I’ve seen Henry in action a number of times, the last time at The Opening out in Oregon. His skills are undeniable, but there has always been a sense of being a little underwhelmed. In talking with someone Monday out of that area, I was told that he’s rarely been challenged on the high school level and that things have always been easy for him.
Monday, he worked out at linebacker in North Carolina’s defensive scheme, and it was interesting seeing his long frame covering slot receivers. However, he more than held his own and was impressive. He didn’t take plays off and seemed to take coaching.
As one observer put it, what we are seeing now is the floor for Henry. He is only going to get better, and that’s kind of scary.