It isn't very often you get the consensus #1 recruit in the country playing in your home state. So let this be the first of regular installments giving you the latest on the recruiting circus surrounding Seantrel Henderson. Below is a map with the schools most often associated with the Seantrel Sweepstakes. As Henderson schedules his unofficial and official visits I will update with dates and links. I will also add and/or drop schools as I get relevant information requiring me to do so.
Here are some very important things to know about the nation's number one college football recruit...
- He plans to make his decision during one of the post-season All-Star games. Both ESPN's Under Armour and the Army All-American games are courting him for obvious reasons.
- Basketball remains his first love and is considering playing both in college. But he knows his meal-ticket is football so that will be the priority.
- Plays football for Minnesota powerhouse, Cretin-Derham Hall. The Raiders have been a recruiting pipeline for Notre Dame in recent years but Henderson does not seem real high on the Irish.
- Remember the name J.D. Pride II. The dual-threat QB plays for Totino Grace (another local privat school with a history of very good football), is a very good friend of Seantrel's and his father is a sort of mentor/advisor/consultant to Seantrel. While the two are not officially a package deal, it is rumored that they would enjoy playing together at the next level. Pride's offer sheet begins and ends with Minnesota but he has interest from Ohio St, Wis, S Car, UNC, Alabama, etc.
- Has publicly stated that distance isn't a factor, but also is very family oriented and wants his family to be able to see him play. Something there will have to give. Michigan fans want to think that playing "a few times" in Minnesota will suffice if he chooses Michigan but his only trip to Minneapolis would be 2012 (they do not play in 2010, away in 2011, home in 2012).
- I'll start with this interview of Seantrel by Allen Trieu, a Scout Midwest recruiting analyst. This was published June 5th, so it isn't hot off the presses but it is a good a good read.
- Rivals interview with Henderson following the May evaluation period.
- Detroit News article following Henderson's unofficial visits to Michigan and Michigan State. Once again this is an older link but it details the potential importance of friend, J.D. Pride II on Henderson's recruitment.
- Michigan Scout site with info from family members and high school coaches (subscription required). This is VERY Michigan centric so take it with a grain of salt. Basically why he is considering Michigan over USC and Minnesota.
If you have any tips or links or suggestions please e-mail me (dailygpher @ gmail.com)
The map is interactive, click on the helmets to get any relevant links and/or visit dates (when available)
View Seantrel Watch in a larger map
A top 10 has not been officially announced will keep you posted with any new developments.
The Gopher perspective
I sincerely believe the Gopher's chances of landing Henderson come down to winning in 2009. I think he likes the idea of staying close to family, I think he likes the coaching staff in Minnesota, but I also think he wants to win. If you can choose a school that you firmly believe has a chance to play for a national championship in your career, why wouldn't you do that? I think THAT is the biggest hurdle the Gophers have.
The Gophers have some things going for them. They were quick to offer J.D. Pride and have been all over Seantrel from day one. His future, Gopher offensive-line coach's son is attending school with Seantrel. He has had ample opportunity to get to know the current roster of Gophers, developing those relationships is a good thing. He can be a program changer and local hero should he chose to stay home. The Gophers have MarQueis Gray under center for Seantrel's career giving him a talented QB to block for. And if he wants to play basketball we have Tubby Smith as an ace up our sleeve.
But like I said it really comes down to winning for the Gophers. If we can rack up some wins and show that this program can take another step forward then we have a chance. If we falter to another 7-5 or worse record then I think Henderson takes his skills elsewhere.