Colorado Tight End Attracted To Illini

A large number of high school football prospects attended the Fighting Illini Spring Game. Some made a weekend out of it, some came just for the day. Colorado tight end J.D. Henry wasn't able to stay long, but he developed a favorable image of the school and football program in his brief time on campus.

J.D. Henry attended the Illinois Spring Game, but only part of it.

"I came up Saturday to watch the Spring Game. I was on campus from 11:00am to about 2:30. I saw half the game and left after that. My dad is a pilot, so we get free tickets. It's pretty easy to fly out."

That was a whirlwind visit. Was he able to see anything he liked during his brief stay?

"It's awesome up there. I really like the campus and everything. All the facilities are really nice up there."

Fortunately, the product of Chapparel High School in Parker, Colorado, arrived soon enough to spend time with his recruiting coach and Illini head coach Ron Zook.

"Coach (Greg) Nord greeted me at the door, took me around and showed me all the facilities and took me up to Coach Zook's office. We talked to Coach Zook for awhile, and then he had to go to the game."

Henry played receiver for his high school team, but the 6'-5" athlete is versatile and may end up at tight end.

"Yeah, I can be used as a tight end, slotback, receiver, depending on where they need me. My size is about 218 right now, so I'm kind of small for a tight end. But I can still get bigger. I have the speed of a receiver, so I'm kind of in between on that one."

He has the frame to put on weight.

"Yeah, that's what coaches are saying. Hopefully I can get bigger before freshman season of college."

Colleges are showing interest, and more will likely be added as the year goes along.

"Illinois, CU (Colorado), Kansas, Kansas State and Texas Tech. Those are the main ones. I have no offers yet."

Colleges have been encouraging him to attend their summer camps.

"Illinois invited me to their one-day evaluation camp, as well as CU and Kansas. I'm gonna make all three of them hopefully."

Henry had a good junior year and hopes to do even better this fall. He believes his best attributes will be attractive to college scouts.

"I did pretty good my junior year. I had 21 catches for over 330 yards. I'd say my attributes are my speed and my size. I have pretty good blocking techniques. That's what most of the coaches say. I have good hands, and coaches like how I catch the ball with my hands and not my body."

Henry has a definite college major in mind.

"I'm hoping to major in Sports Medicine. I want to be a physical therapist if I don't make it to the NFL."

What is he looking for in a college?

"It doesn't really matter how close the school is because my parents will move wherever I go. But just how the academics are, the campus prestige. I like nice campuses of course, and Illinois really has a nice one."

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