Three-quarters of the way through his fine junior campaign, and his first at St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.) after transferring from Decatur (Berlin, Md.), receiver Tyree Henry suffered what looked to be a potential career threatening injury.
At the start of the third quarter against Gilman (Baltimore, Md.), Henry had a head-on-head encounter with a defender after reeling in a short pass. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound St. Frances wideout absorbed the worst of the blow, falling to the turf in a heap. Henry, whose neck was injured on the play, laid motionless for a solid half-hour before being carted off in an ambulance.
But Henry regained mobility and, after an extended hospital stay, steadily recovered. He aggressively rehabbed the injury in an attempt to return to the gridiron as soon as possible.
“It was a scary moment, maybe the scariest of my life,” Henry said. “But at the same time I look at it as a blessing. It put things into perspective, and I believe everything happens for a reason.”
Now fully recovered, Henry has been training with his team most of the winter. He said each of the offers he procured prior to the injury – Maryland, Va Tech, Syracuse, Pitt and WVU – remain in place and each of the staffs are in touch.
The Terps, of course, were Henry’s very first offer his sophomore year at Decatur. At the time, Henry dubbed the hometown school his early leader, and while he’s since taken a step back, UMD is still on the brain.
In fact, Henry was back in College Park, Md., Feb. 4 for the first time since the fall. He was joined by a host of other elite recruits, including teammates and Maryland targets like Jaelyn Duncan, Eyabi Anoma and Randy Fields.
“Honesty I’d already seen Maryland a bunch, so the visit was nothing new for me. But I still like it up there,” Henry said. “I like being around the coaches and I like that it’s close to home.”
Speaking of home, Henry said the hometown movement that’s taken hold in the DMV is resonating. Henry isn’t about to simply follow other local recruits to College Park, but he admitted staying close by is an intriguing option.
“Maryland just signed a top 15 class made up of mostly local guys, so that shows they’re on the rise,” Henry said. “I see what they have going on over there with DMV-to-UMD and it caught my eye. I was talking to [QB] Kasim Hill about it, and he was telling me he’d love to throw passes to me. And my teammate, B’ahmad Miller, he’s going to Maryland too. We’re roommates and I have a great relationship with him. We’re close.”
Other than the recruits, Henry reconnected with recruiter Matt Barnes, receivers coach Chris Beatty, headman DJ Durkin and several more.
“Literally I talked to every Maryland coach. They’re great guys,” laughed Henry. “It was good to see them all again. Coach Barnes is a cool guy and hits me up every now and again. And Coach Beatty talks to me too. At the visit, he said I’d be a real good fit there. He said the closest place I could go that would get me ready for the NFL was right there at Maryland. I mean, all coaches say stuff like that, but Coach Beatty helped Tavon Austin and Percy Harvin. He knows what he’s talking about.”
All of the above bodes well for UMD’s chances at landing Henry, but he said he’s keeping an open mind and will vet all his options. He has no frontrunners at this time, particularly with more verbals about to roll in (he has interest from Wake, Illinois, Michigan State and Notre Dame).
So far, Henry has visited Maryland, Va Tech and Syracuse. He wants to see Pitt and return to UMD and Tech coming up.
“I definitely want to get back to Maryland in June, because that’s when the new facilities should be ready,” said Henry, who noted he’d love to get an offer from LSU. “That should be really nice for Maryland.”