Henton Impressive Thus Far

Antonio Henton played like one of the best quarterbacks in the nation as a high school senior. And so far during Ohio State's preseason camp, no one has been disappointed with his play. We checked in with Henton recently, and also have some comments from OSU quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels.

Antonio Henton knows he has walked into an ideal situation for a young quarterback. He can learn under Heisman Trophy candidate Troy Smith, redshirt, then compete for the job in 2007.

"It's been a great situation," Henton said. "The things we're doing up here is the same things I did in high school. And learning under a guy like Troy, it's just great. I like being here in Ohio, it's just been great so far."

Henton was not a highly-rated prospect when he committed to the Buckeyes in the summer of 2005 following an impressive performance at OSU's football camp. But after a huge senior season that saw him lead Peach County High School to a Georgia state championship, he shot up the rankings.

Henton couldn't care less about where he was ranked on recruiting lists. But he still smiles when asked about the state title.

"Well, we knew we had to come out early and play," he said. "We didn't waste any time in the playoff games. We came out and attacked and played well."

And Henton played especially well. He stole the show with his arms and legs.

"Nobody expected us to come out as state champ," he said. "We proved everybody wrong by coming out a winner. We knew we just had to take it one game at a time. I think I played all right, and my teammates really stepped it up."

As a true freshman, Henton is still getting razzed by many of the older players on Ohio State's team. He seems to be well-liked, but when a young pup is being interviewed, his friends will do their best to break his concentration.

Sophomore safety Nick Patterson interrupted the conversation to playfully ask a reporter, "Can you understand what he says? Peach County lingo?"

"Yeah, they're still giving me a hard time, but it's all good," Henton said.

One person who is not giving Henton a hard time is OSU quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels. In an interview published Tuesday on Bucknuts.com, Daniels gushed about his young QB.

"Antonio Henton is another guy we've really been happy with," Daniels said. "We've got to spoon feed him a little bit just because he's a freshman and he just walked in and we're way ahead. But, I tell you what, I give him a lot of credit because he's a sharp kid and really has a great idea of what is going on. When we're in a quarterback meeting and we quiz him on some things, he's right on. He's been impressive. He has a little bit of a sore shoulder right now."

Henton reminds Daniels of how Smith looked when he entered the program in 2002. In fact, Henton is probably ahead of Smith at this point of his career. There hasn't been any discussion of Henton playing wide receiver or returning kickoffs unless we missed something.

"I think (he reminds me of Smith) awful lot," Daniels said. "Right now, the problem we have is Antonio has got a bit of a groin problem and he's got a sore shoulder. But when we watched him as a high school guy, we thought he did remind us a lot of Troy. He threw the ball well and we thought he was a heck of an athlete and that's true. One of the few times in our lives we were right. He can do some things athletically and he can do some things throwing the ball. But right now, the unfortunate thing is he can't run too well and he can't throw too well because of his soreness, which is typical. But I've been very, very impressed with him. Will he be another Troy? I don't know. But what I see out of him right now mentally and physically, we're very happy."

It's a mutual admiration society as Henton also enjoys working with Daniels and knows he has been around the business for many years.

"Yeah, Coach D has been around the game a long time and I think he's a good person to teach me some more things than I already know," Henton said. "And (head coach Jim) Tressel, he's a great coach. He's like the dad of the team. Everyone respects him so much."

Henton (6-2, 190) doesn't have great size, but he's not a small quarterback either. He seems to do a lot of things well and might only get better as he adds strength to his slender frame.

"I think I study hard, study film hard, I'm a good thrower and I can also hurt you with my feet," Henton said.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories