CONNECTING STUDENT ATHLETES WITH COLLEGE COACHES
The roller-coaster ride for Seantrel Henderson (Saint Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham) appears to finally be over. On Friday, Sean Henderson, who is the father of the five-star offensive tackle prospect, confirmed that his son will sign with Miami. Henderson was released from his letter of intent with USC on Tuesday.
"Seantrel is definitely going to Miami. It is 100 percent," said Sean Henderson. "We are not sure when he will actually sign [his letter of intent], but he will do that sometime before he reports on Aug. 3."
The No. 8 overall prospect in the ESPNU 150 is a huge piece for Miami coach Randy Shannon and his program. Henderson was the top-rated prospect at a highly coveted position, and helps the Hurricanes fill a glaring need across the offensive front. The 6-foot-8, 300-pounder has a great body, long arms and super feet. He plays with very good balance and has a nice base. Henderson can slide in pass pro and uses those long arms to keep rushers at bay. He engulfs defenders while run blocking and is very good on the move because he's so big and athletic.
Like all true freshmen, Henderson will have to adjust to the speed of the game, as well as offensive coordinator Mark Whipple's playbook and blocking schemes in Coral Gables, Fla. He also needs polish and development before he is a dominant left tackle at the next level.
Prior to bringing in Henderson, Miami's 2010 recruiting class was ranked No. 13 in the country. By adding the elite left tackle, the Hurricanes move to No. 11 and bump Georgia and Penn State down a spot. USC remains at No. 7 because its class is still loaded with early-impact players. Miami's class was not overwhelming to begin with, which is why getting Henderson does not warrant as big of a jump as one might think.
He joins an already-stout Miami offensive line class that includes ESPNU 150 offensive lineman Brandon Linder (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas). Linder is a special four-star talent who's versatile enough to play anywhere along the offensive front. While he wants to play tackle, many feel he will slide inside and become a center.
Other potential tackle prospects in the group are Tavadis Glen (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines), Jermaine Barton (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Malcolm Bunche (Newark, Del./Milford Academy). Glen and Barton are raw and very athletic big men, while Bunche comes to the Hurricanes via the prep school route. Then you have Jonathan Feliciano (Davie, Fla./Western) and Shane McDermott (Lake Worth, Fla./Palm Beach), who will both likely end up playing on the inside.
The Henderson signing gives Miami a bona fide big-time left tackle, great depth at a very important position and someone to help Shannon & Co. in future recruiting.
The game of football continues to evolve, but it's still won and lost in the trenches. This offensive line class could turn into the cornerstone of Miami football.
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at email@example.com. Tom Luginbill and Billy Tucker contributed to this piece.