Henderson Heading Into the Final Stretch

Seantrel Henderson from Cretin-Derham Hall (St, Paul, Minn.) finished playing his high school football career last weekend at the U.S. Army All-American Game held in San Antonio, Texas. Now that Henderson has completed his postseason activities on the field, he'll turn his attention to selecting his college destination.

Seantrel Henderson (6-foot-8, 338-pounds) was presented with the inaugural Anthony Munoz lineman of the year award last Friday during the weeklong events surrounding the U.S Army All-American Game. There are eight colleges still in the hunt for Henderson's services and according to Seantrel's father, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly will visit the family on Monday for an in-home visit.

"I talked to coach Denbrock and coach Kelly this morning," Sean Henderson said. "I congratulated him on a great season with Cincinnati and wished him the best in making the transition over to Notre Dame. I think he's going to do a good job at Notre Dame.

"I met coach Denbrock on Tuesday of last week. We basically talked about them coming up and visiting and what they had to offer. I told him that Seantrel is looking forward to meeting coach Kelly on Monday. I think it'll be a good time. That will be our first in-home visit heading down the stretch. We've already had in-home visits with Minnesota and Ohio State. We'll have Notre Dame up next and we'll take it from there."

Like a number of recruits, Seantrel had developed a strong relationship with coach Weis and his staff, but according to his father, when evaluating Notre Dame, they have to look beyond the coaching staff.

"It's more the program and the school, Sean Henderson said. "Notre Dame is a prestigious school overall. If we're talking about a degree, you'd be hard pressed to find a school outside of the Ivy League that has a degree and an education with more value than Notre Dame. That's first and foremost with us. It's a place that has a great education and he'll have a shot at winning a title, so it's a little bit of both.

"On top of that it's a Midwest school that's not too far from home. They have Michael Floyd on the team who Seantrel played high school ball with. All those things are pluses for us that have nothing to do with the coach. Those are the things that Seantrel likes. Coaches can change at anytime, just like the players can. I think he's looking at other things and those are the things stand out to us about Notre Dame.

Although there are pieces of the puzzle that Seantrel likes about Notre Dame, and other schools, the relationship with the coaching staff is always important in recruiting. Mr. Henderson explained that those relationships certainly are important, but that Notre Dame isn't the only schools going through a transition.

"We're talking about Florida, with the possibility of Meyer leaving," the elder Henderson explained. "We're talking about the changes at USC with Lane Kiffin coming in and we're talking the change at Notre Dame with coach Kelly coming in. In all those cases, it is questionable because we were making relationships with the head coaches and the line coaches, and one of the most important relationships will be with his offensive line coach, so it's hard to say. He's going to have to prepare himself mentally, because those changes can happen anytime. He'll only be a freshman, but a coaching change could happen his sophomore year; a change could happen his junior year, and that would have an effect on the overall situation. I think ultimately he's going to look at it from an institutional perspective more so than just the coaching staff. He'll just try to play the best play that he can. I think he'll play great ball under anybody that he's with. It's all about personalities and coaching styles. You don't ever really know. You can only pick once and that situation can always change."

Seantrel's final eight schools include Minnesota, Miami, Florida, Oklahoma, USC, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Iowa. Despite the chatter that his son will end up with a recent national title winner, Sean believes that every school has something to offer.

"People do expect us to just go to USC, or Florida, Ohio State or to Oklahoma, teams that have won championships recently, but at the same time we need to look at all of our options," Sean explained. "Seantrel has to get that gut feeling and it has to be a place where he's comfortable playing at.

"Iowa, we're talking about a school in the Midwest. It's a Big ten school and they almost won a trip to the Rose Bowl. They produce great offensive linemen. Look at their history. Coach Ferentz has a track record of producing great linemen and you can't overlook that.

"When you talk about Miami, you're talking about a great school, a private institution. You're talking about smaller class sizes. You're talking about a great place to learn and you're again talking about a prestigious degree. They play great football in Florida and Miami has always been a force to be reckoned with in college football.

"If we're talking about staying home," he said. "We're talking about playing football at Minnesota and that would be a big deal for him."

Senatrel has one official visit remaining, and that will take him to Miami on January 29. He visited Ohio State in September, Notre Dame in October, USC in November and Florida in December.

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