Wednesday, October 31, 2012

the recruit: Brad Henson

Name: Brad Henson
Position: OL
Hometown: Surf City, NJ
School: Monsignor Donovan
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 275

24/7: 87, three stars; #26 OG, NJ #19
ESPN: 75, three stars; #65 OG, NJ #31, Atl. #131
Rivals: 5.7, three stars; #22 OG, NJ #12
Scout: three stars; #17 OG

Other offers: Miami, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, South Carolina, NC State, West Virginia, Rutgers, Maryland, Syracuse, Boston College, Connecticut, various others

If you liked the Jack McDonald commitment, you loved the Brad Henson one, since it came one day later.  Everyone loves when that happens.  It had the makings of the guy who watches the doors closing and decides to hop on before the train leaves.

Henson is a tough one to peg.  The scouting services have him as a highish three star, except ESPN where you can just see the meh oozing out of the screen.  Yet his offer list is four-star all the way; solid interest from the SEC, about half the ACC, and that quasi-holy-grail of O-lineman offers, Wisconsin.  And then you have his position.  ESPN says guard all the way.  Rivals says, "Henson has the length and frame to be a prototypical left tackle."  And where will the coaches use him when he gets here?  Center.

It's a good fit, I think.  Henson played center his junior year, and he has experience on the inside as he's also played a significant amount of OG.  He's your basic smart-head-on-his-shoulders kid that UVA would take every time if they could, and for another thing, he does well with the concept of leverage.  Whereas the dominant theme in, say, Morgan Moses's highlight tapes was him trucking some hapless defender thirty yards straight downfield whether or not the play required it, Henson is more adept at scooting the defender in a direction unsuitable to making a tackle.  A center needs to do this all the time.  You don't want the guy downfield, you want him out of the way.  Michigan's David Molk was way undersized and not remarkably strong and won the Rimington Trophy because he was absolutely perfect at adeptly pointing defensive tackles in the wrong direction.

The scouting services do agree, however, that Henson needs to get stronger.  I mean, that's dazzlingly obvious for any offensive lineman, but they say it so often and so consistently (and Henson looks kinda doughy in some of his pictures) that they probably really mean it.  It's also been mentioned a couple times, however, that he's already bigger than the listed 275 and is probably pushing 285-290.  And they all make a point to speak well of his physicality, always an asset.

I wouldn't worry much about ESPN's lukewarm evaluation; as you know it's generally better to assume that a dozen coaching staffs with a scarcity of scholarships to offer out have a better idea of talent when they see it than one analyst who has a job whether or not he's right.  Henson is the leading member of an offensive line class big on quality, if not quantity.  UVA whiffed on every instate lineman worth anything and still came away with a better O-line class than Tech did, and Henson is a big reason.  Assuming he sticks it out at center, and assuming the succession plan at center stays the same, Henson will fall in line behind Ross Burbank and serve a lengthy apprenticeship before getting the job in his junior year.  Center is tricky, and not everyone can handle it, but Henson is as well-equipped as anyone for it.


Senior Seasons, yo.  This is the last week in which everyone will play; four seasons are complete and awaiting their playoffs.  Speaking of which, the GP South Blue Devils ended theirs in the first round by taking a fully-expected beating at the hands of Cass Tech.  Cass Tech routinely sends players to Division I.  South does not.  (And when they do, said player shows exceedingly poor judgment.)

Salisbury 47, Brunswick 35: Sadiq Olanrewaju got into the backfield on defense and helped rack up three sacks.  Salisbury is 6-0.

Good Counsel 30, Bishop O'Connell 0: Brendan Marshall was 10 of 16 and scored a touchdown on a keeper, but the more exciting news is that Andre Levrone is back on the field.  Levrone caught three passes for 34 yards in his return.  OLGC is 8-1.

Concord 21, A.L. Brown 14: Levrone isn't the only receiver back on the field.  Keeon Johnson is back too, and caught a couple of big passes to set up a Kannapolis touchdown.  Brown is 8-3.

South Iredell 30, East Burke 0: LaChaston Smith chipped in on the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run.  South Iredell is 9-2.

Oscar Smith 27, Grassfield 0: Zack Jones caught a touchdown pass, and Oscar Smith secured the district title.  Oscar Smith is 7-2.

Ocean Lakes 41, Landstown 0: Three more touchdown passes for Turtle Cutler.  Ocean Lakes is 9-0.

Gilman 48, McDonogh 12 (Micah Kiser) - Gilman is 7-2.
Damascus 14, Seneca Valley 13 (Zach Bradshaw) - Damascus is 9-0.
Potomac 27, C.D. Hylton 21 (Donta Wilkins) - Potomac is 6-3.
BC High 44, Malden Catholic 0 (Jack McDonald) - BC High is 3-4.
Monsignor Donovan 36, Central Regional 0 (Brad Henson) - Donovan is 5-2.
Houston Westside 49, Houston MS&T 7 (Hipolito Corporan) - Westside is 5-3.
Bayside 34, Cox 27 (Taquan Mizzell) - Bayside is 8-2.
Fork Union 39, Benedictine 30 (Malcolm Cook) - FUMA is 8-2.
Varina 44, Glen Allen 0 (Tim Harris) - Varina is 7-1.
Woodberry Forest 13, St. Christopher's 6 (Jack English) - St. Chris is 5-4.

Two of those wins - Damascus's and Potomac's - qualify as decent-sized upsets.  Hylton is a very good team and has a top-flight junior athlete named Travon McMillian who'll definitely show up on the 2014 recruiting board in some fashion.

Four regular seasons are over.  Bayside will wait a bit before learning their playoff fate.  They're in, they just need an opponent.  Gilman secured the #1 seed and a bye week in their six-team conference tourney, and will play one of two teams they crushed earlier.  They don't do state playoffs.  The two North Carolina squads are both in and heavily favored in their first round matchups, though Keeon Johnson and A.L. Brown will have an awfully difficult time in the second round.  (Then again, Brown is a team that would've dominated the earth if they hadn't been completely slammed with injuries, so perhaps it's them that is the nightmare second-round game that nobody wanted.)  The vast majority of the rest of the regular seasons wrap up next weekend.

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