Early Leaderboard Set for Henderson

The last time Shaker Heights (OH) LB/DE, Joe Henderson was in Ann Arbor he was a Michigan camp participant that made a strong impression on the Wolverines with his play on the field. Saturday the shoe was on the other foot, as he was on hand at the Big House to watch the Maize & Blue roll over Iowa. Is Michigan now the team to beat for the 2014 standout?

For much of the season the Michigan coaching staff has been working hard to get Shaker Heights (OH) LB/DE, Joseph Henderson up on campus for a visit.  When he finally made his way to the Great Lake State Saturday the Wolverines made the most of the opportunity.

“It was great just watching them,” said Henderson of his time in Ann Arbor.  "#47, Jake Ryan was pretty nice out there.  Watching him cover and to see how big he is and moving that quick… it was amazing watching him play.”

“It definitely moved them up.  This was my first game coming out watching them and it set the standards pretty high.”

The Wolverines managed to rise on the Henderson’s list despite not extending an offer.  That, though, is something he believes will change in the not too distant future.

“They were just telling me to stay on top of my grades and if I keep doing that good things are just going to come out,” Henderson recalled.  “Coach Mattison is coming up to my school after their season is over.  Hopefully that’s when he has a scholarship for me.”

To date programs that have offered are Minnesota, Pitt, Illinois, Cincinnati, and Akron.  Much like he feels about Michigan, Henderson believes that that childhood favorite Ohio State is close to joining that list.

“They’re really liking me right now,” he said regarding the Buckeyes.  “They’re still evaluating me and looking at my highlight tape.  Urban Meyer and Stan Drayton came up to my school to talk to my coach to see how I’m doing so far. “

Ohio State is recruiting Henderson as a defensive end, while Michigan is courting him as a linebacker.  At the moment he has a slight preference for which he’d like to play at the next level.

“For right now I prefer d-end because that’s where I played most of last season,” he explained.  “It went good.  I almost broke the record for sacks at my school.  The record was 17. I had 16. I (also) had 50-something tackles.”

“I improved on my hand work and my footwork a lot.  I (transferred) what I learned in camp into the season and it really turned out well.”

While that sounds especially good for the Scarlet& Gray, Henderson stopped short of naming the Bucks his definitive favorite.

“I’m not going to really say they’re on top,” he stated.  “It’s between the two… Michigan and O-State.”

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