September 3, 2009

CMU commit Kevin Henry talks season opener and CMU

The Central Michigan football team struck a major out of state victory earlier this year when they received a verbal commitment from Morris (IL) defensive end Kevin Henry. Henry chose CMU over Indiana and Northern Illinois among others, and he currently rates as CMU's top prospect in the Rivals rankings. He chose the Chippewas for a variety of reasons.

"I like a lot of the schools that were recruiting me, and I'd been to most of them. I went to CMU and I just got that vibe you know, it's hard to explain," Henry said. "The coaching staff is top of the line and my mom and family really liked it".

Henry has been on campus multiple times and came away impressed each visit.

"I visited the first day freshmen reported with my dad and girlfriend. I was also up there earlier in the year with my family. The facilities are nice and the stadium is top of the line, I also heard they are renovating the indoor practice facility so that is something I look forward to seeing".

Serving as Henry's main recruiter was CMU offensive line coach Don Mahoney.

"Coach Mahoney, great guy," said Henry. "I talked to him most the time and he's just real down to earth and a good coach".

The multi-talented Henry was recruited as a defensive end, but at 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, it was thought by many that he would outgrow the position and slide inside to defensive tackle. It appears that thought has now become fact as Henry was moved inside by his high school.

"It's different," said Henry. "I haven't played defensive tackle since my 7th grade year, which was my first year of football. But it's not like I never played there before. Defensive tackle is a lot more physically demanding and there are a few adjustments. Our defense just switched to a 3-4 so the coaches thought they could utilize me more at tackle, and if helps the team I'll play anywhere".

In a feat that is becoming rarer and rarer in high school football, Henry also plays on the offensive side of the ball as he slides over to guard from tight end last year. Playing both ways showcases the type of player Kevin Henry is and the type of skill that made him such a coveted recruit for many programs.

"Coaches say they like my athleticism and speed. I feel I can get that edge as a defensive end and have the speed at tackle to be disruptive. Overall, my quickness is a big asset" added Henry.

The transition from tight end to guard has been met with some new challenges as well.

"Oh man, I'm the rookie," laughed Henry. "My teammates call me the rookie and the first time I missed an assignment I heard it. At guard, you have to improvise a little bit more, but I'll play anywhere. I'd say I'm more of a defensive minded guy, but if they wanted me to play running back I would do that".

Being defensive minded has been met with some drawbacks however, most notably in the first game where the entire team seemed to follow that blueprint as Morris fell 6-3 in their opener to Oswego.

"Overtime…lost in overtime," said Henry. "One play to the outside is what got us. All game they had been running a Power I up the middle and we just kind of beat up on each other, then they broke one outside on us. Our defense is looking pretty strong, but offensively we have a few things to work on".

Look updates on Henry's season as Morris tries to rebound from a defensive showdown last week.

Stick to ChippewaCountry for the latest in CMU athletics and recruiting.

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