Clemson recruiting: When did DE K.J. Henry know he would be a Tiger?
There’s something in these hills, and Sam Butler and the DieHards team have you covered on the Clemson recruiting trail as the defending national champions reload. Check here every Monday-Friday to stay on top of the latest news and find every previous edition of the daily recruiting notebooks here.
K.J. Henry reveals when he made his decision
Clemson had a terrific early signing period: The Tigers signed all of their previous 12 commitments and added 3 more Dec. 20. They scored 5-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman in a surprise and inked 4-star running back Lyn-J Dixon early in the day and 5-star DE K.J. Henry capped it off by picking Clemson in the afternoon.
Henry has been in Orlando, Fla., practicing for the Under Armour All-America Game, and he expanded on his decision to SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan.
The 6-5 Henry said his decision wasn’t one that he made the day of his announcement, but it wasn’t one he’d made weeks before, either. Instead, it came while he was practicing for the Shrine Bowl during the week prior to the early signing period.
“Things just started unfolding for me there,” Henry said. “That whole week listening to different recruits was good, but I knew that whole week I was a Tiger.”
Henry was picking from a group of finalists that included Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, and he said the “second-place team,” so to speak, was a tie between Georgia and Virginia Tech.
But Clemson earned his signature in the end, and the reasoning is similar to what you hear from a lot of guys who decide to go there: It’s about becoming the best football player possible, of course, but the appeal of playing for Dabo Swinney and becoming a better person drew him in the most.
“I just feel like it was right for me,” Henry said. “I’m just trying to grow as a person more than anything and obviously on the football field, that’ll help too.”
After the Under Armour game, Henry will head to Clemson as an early enrollee. He’ll get to spend plenty of time learning how to co-exist on the defensive line opposite Xavier Thomas, the top-3 recruit who also signed with Clemson.
If the two figure out how to best play alongside each other, the results have the potential to be astronomical. And Henry knows it, which is why the early practice time can be so valuable.
“That’s something we’re definitely going to try to figure out,” Henry said. “It’s an advantage for us to come in during the spring, just figure out each other’s games. I’ve played with him in a couple camps, but to strap on some pads and figure out tendencies and stuff, that’ll definitely help with our success on the D-line.”
Oh yeah, Henry’s roommate during the spring? That’d be QB Trevor Lawrence. You might’ve heard of him.
Carman’s got jokes
Speaking of Lawrence and Henry, their future teammate Jackson Carman pulled a fast one Tuesday on Twitter.
— T H E J I A N T (@Jackthejiant) January 2, 2018
He laughs now, but Henry might not let him forget that during drills in the spring.
Miss a previous edition? Find every Clemson DieHards daily recruiting notebook right here.