There are seemingly few secrets in today’s recruiting world, but every now and then a modern day sleeper pops up and delivers a strong senior year performance that belies his recruiting rankings. Michigan landed such a player two years ago in Cleveland (OH) St. Ignatius linebacker, Jake Ryan. This year the Maize & Blue may have struck gold again with another Clevelander in Glenville star, Willie Henry. The three-star DT/DE made his way to Ann Arbor for an impromptu official visit last weekend, and after taking in that experience determined that donning the winged helmet was in his future.
“I guess everything fit what he likes,” said Glenville headman Ted Ginn. “I knew he was going there to visit, but I didn’t know he was going to commit. I guess it just all worked out.”
Ginn’s program has been a hotbed for college talent for more than a decade, and in Henry he sees the same promise demonstrated by many of his more well-known prospects. Henry’s ability to consistently standout just manifested itself a little bit later.
“I don’t know why (people are just now talking about him)… I’ve been telling the world about him,” Ginn quipped. “Around here we are slow developing sometimes. I think (as a junior) he played at times like (he played during his senior year), but they all mature a little bit more their senior year. But he always had that quality that you’re seeing on film. ”
Henry’s commitment is the culmination of a whirlwind recruitment that began in earnest last week. According to Ginn, Michigan wasn’t the only school working feverishly to lure that talented lineman into the fold.
The Wolverines’ cause in this race was undoubtedly helped by Brady Hoke’s long standing relationship with Ginn… one that dates back to his time as an assistant at Michigan.
“I had a relationship with Brady going back with (former Michigan defensive end) Pierre (Woods),” the Glenville coach recalled. “Then he went to Ball State and (the relationship) increased… he took about five or six of my guys. The relationship has always been there. It’s a new day and a new way (at Michigan).”
With one of Ginn’s players in back to back recruiting classes (Frank Clark chose the Wolverines last year), it appears that that new way will continue to include Glenville.