Originally announced for 11:00 am, the press conference for Chad Henne (6-3, 230 lbs., 4.6 in the 40, 3.4 GPA) was delayed half an hour for unknown reasons. That increased the tensions of the several hundred attendees, including a score of press organizations with GoBlueWolverine Magazine among them.
It looked more like a Presidential press conference. Television and video cameras filled the middle isle and reporters filled the first two rows of seats at The Body Zone in Reading, PA.
Shortly after 11:30 am, things got underway. Henne entered the indoor field with an entourage of family, friends, and coaches. He took a seat next to the podium looking relaxed and not the least bit intimidated by the throng of observers gathered to hear his words. After a few comments from Wilson Head Coach Jim Cantafio, in which he stressed that this was Chad's day, the young man finally approached the microphones. The entire room was silent.
"I'm a fun guy and I like to have fun...I never thought it would be anything like this when I was in 9th grade. I owe it all to Coach Cantafio," were the first statements he uttered. Afterwards, he got right to the point. "I'm announcing that I will be attending the University of Michigan." A somewhat subdued applause erupted from the mainly pro-Penn State crowd. Henne was clear, composed, and spoke with confidence. It was clear he had no reservations about the decision.
In taking questions during the Q&A that immediately followed the announcement, except for a few studders, he maintained his composure and had detailed answers for each question. His bevy of answers included the following: "There's no doubt in my mind that this is the best thing for me."
Henne was barraged with questions about why he chose Michigan, why he decided not to attend PSU, and had he told the PSU coaches (which he hadn't at the time of the press conference). All the while, he maintained a calm demeanor. Though Henne had been "coached" about the kinds of questions he would be subjected to prior to the conference, the answers didn't appear to be rehearsed and he continiued to present an air of confidence and comfort in his decision.
At the end of the Q&A Henne donned a block "M" cap and the ensuing applause was thunderous! People seemed to understand that a nice person, as well as a great player had made one of those "life decisions" and showed their appreciation. They still have him for one more year. Then, he brings his talents to Ann Arbor!
I'll have more later, including quotes and pictures from the conference. Stay tuned.
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