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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Recruitment not getting easier for Henry

By Josh Moyer


ESPN 150 athlete Dravon Henry (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa) listed his top four schools about two months ago with the understanding it would slow down his recruitment.

With the mailbox now stuffed with 50 letters by the middle of the week, it's safe to say the four-star athlete understood incorrectly.

"I would say that backfired, personally," said Henry's father, Roland Henry. "He was getting a billion calls and he thought it'd stop if he named a top four. But, if anything, it might have hurt. Since then, he's probably gotten another 12 offers."

Henry's father said his son's top four -- Penn State, West Virginia, Pitt and Ohio State -- wasn't concrete to begin with. And, after a busy month and a half, changes are almost inevitable.

Florida State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech and Miami (Fla.) are among the most recent schools to join the fray, and Roland Henry said his son hasn't eliminated them as options.

"Florida State, that's a place that you could call 'DBU' if you wanted to," he added.

Henry doesn't plan to announce a commitment before the end of his senior season. So, despite the barrage of phone calls and letters, he's still trying to take his time. He likely won't make any unofficial visits or attend camps this summer and he hasn't even broached the topic of future official visits.

At this point, between talking with coaches and reading all the mail, Roland said the family is just trying to take a closer look at each team's position coach and defensive coordinator.

"More so we're looking at that because 80 percent is going to be spent with those two," Roland said. "So we're looking at what these guys are teaching, their techniques and where he fits into their system."

The 5-foot-11 athlete, who is mainly being recruited as a defensive back, now has about 10 shoe boxes filled with letters -- along with a large garbage bag. And a good portion of those letters now appear to be coming from four schools: Pitt, Penn State, Michigan and West Virginia.

Roland said he usually spots a letter from those colleges with every trip to the mailbox. Those four write a lot of handwritten notes, and the Nittany Lions were at Aliquippa on Monday to see Henry at track practice.

"We got a family pipeline to Pitt, but Penn State -- Penn State is that program," Roland said. "It has such a rich history, and I think Penn State more so won him over with their honesty about the whole scandal and how they're trying to move past it."

Henry's father isn't sure what lies ahead for his son. He'll train with his cousin -- and Pitt alum -- Darrelle Revis over the summer. But certainties are few and far between for the Henry family, even more so now than when Henry released a top four.

"I would say it's definitely gotten more difficult since then," Roland said. "But then at end of the day, it comes down to his decision and his comfort.

"And, right now, he's like a poker player. He's not really telling anybody."