Kevin Henry: His Coach's Take

Kevin Henry is the second best prospect in the state of Louisiana, and he was originally committed to play for the LSU Tigers. But the Baton Rouge standout changed from LSU to Oklahoma State in September. With National Signing Day on Wednesday, we recently visited with Central High School defensive coordinator Ken Hilton about Henry and his future with the OSU Cowboys.

What are Kevin’s strengths as a football player?
Hilton: His presence on the field, and being a coach on the field. He’s very aggressive, has instincts, fast, athletic, big and physical, also athletic enough to cover somebody out of the backfield or who lines up outside the box. Actually, he played four different positions for us (strong safety, free safety, cornerback and linebacker) on defense this year. He was our defense.

What are the areas that he’ll need to improve to play in the Big 12 Conference?
Hilton: I think they’re going to play him kinda like a hybrid linebacker, so he’ll be playing inside the box where he’ll be taking on some one-on-one blocks. Getting used to being in that box probably as much as he’s going to be is going to be something different. We actually played him more where we covered everybody up and allowed him to be a spy where he could go chase the quarterback.

Is there one play or one game that you’ll always remember about Kevin?
Hilton: There was one where we were playing for the district championship last year. The other team had a running back who signed with Tulane, and they would take him out of the backfield and move him around, using him as a receiver some. I just matched Kevin up on him one-on-one and he caught one pass all night, a flair pass. They had a chance to go down and score to tie the game up and they sent him on a wheel route. Kevin tipped the ball up and we got a pick, and won the game.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Hilton: Kevin had some grade issues and Oklahoma State stuck with him. They never gave up on him. When he got up there (on his visit), he really liked the family-type atmosphere and really liked the coaches. He’s excited and can’t wait to get there.

What type of person is Kevin away from football? Can you talk a little bit about his character traits?
Hilton: He’s a happy-go-lucky kid who likes to be the life of the party. He’s always cracking jokes and having a good time. But he’s also one that has a big heart. It’s common to see him around here with the ninth graders, talking and joking around with them. He’s a big-hearted kid.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Hilton: Just his durability. It was nice to have someone who could do so many different things. Whatever I asked him to do, it was always ‘Coach, you don’t have to ask me. You already know the answer. Whatever you need me to do to help the team.’ Not only that but then he was one who would go out and get it done.

What else do OSU fans need to know about Kevin?
Hilton: Other than the fact that I think Oklahoma State is getting an outstanding football player, they’re excited to have him and he’s excited to go. He’s a kid that comes from a humble background; he’s a humble kid, a team player. I’m excited to see him go to the next level.

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