Henne Press Conference Recap

One of the top quarterback prospect in that nation, West Lawn Pennsylvania's own Chad Henne, had a press conference last Wednesday to announce his final 5 teams. Chad answered any and all questions during the one-hour press conference.

For a much more complete recap of the press conference, LionNews Total Access Pass subscribers can click the following link: detailed Henne Press Conference Recap. If you are not a subscriber, clicking the link will allow you to sign up for a free 5-day trial.

At the start of the press conference, Wilson head coach Jim Cantafio quickly recapped all that has been going on with Chad Henne's recruitment. He reiterated what he had been saying to the media leading up to the event, that in an effort to allow Chad to enjoy the summer and to have time alone to mull over his decision in peace, the Henne family would not take calls from the media starting the day after the press conference, June 12, until August 4. This was Coach Cantafio's idea. Coach Cantafio would be available to answer any media questions during that time.

This past weekend, Coach Cantafio and Chad attended a camp at Liverpool High School in Syracuse. According to Cantafio, the quarterback coaches from Miami and Florida State were a few of the coaches at the camp.

Coach Cantafio:

"The plan right now is to make visits over the next 6 weeks and then hopefully make an announcement on his school of choice sometime mid-August to late-August before our first football game of the 2003 football season."

"Chad was invited to the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp, the most prestigious quarterback camp in the country which is held in California. He has decided not to attend this camp so he can visit his colleges of choice over the summertime. We just feel to go to California that last weekend in July would make it difficult for him. We need as many weekends as we can get so Chad can make his visits and sit down with the coaches."

"Last week, we had a very memorable conversation with Larry Coker, the head coach at Miami. When Miami arrived here in early May, they told us that their quarterback coach would travel the nation and that's all he was going to do, travel the country and work out and observe the top quarterbacks in the nation and that they would call us the last week in May and let us know if they would offer Chad Henne a scholarship. When the call came, we spent about 40 minutes on the phone with Coach Coker. Chad was one of only two quarterbacks in America that Miami has offered this year."

"Joe Paterno put his arm on Chad Henne's shoulder and looked him in the eyes when we were up at the spring game and said, 'I don't have too many years left young man, but I want you here so we can win one more national championship before I retire'."

Chad Henne:

Chad listed his final five in the following order: Miami, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee and Penn State. He later indicated that this was not in order of preference.

What will the major factors be in his decision-making process?

"Right now, I'm looking for basically the depth charts. I'm looking at every quarterback situation in the nation. With those top 5 schools, I think right now, the quarterback situations at all 5 schools are pretty good...Another reason is just friendliness and communications with other coaches. My relationship with Coach Cantafio is wonderful and that's the kind of relationship I want when I go to college."

Has PSU told Chad that they're going to continue to open up the offense?

"Definitely, I think just this past season it showed a lot. Before this season, they really ran [most of the time] and when I was a sophomore, Penn State really wasn't a big key because it was running and I don't want to just sit back there and hand-off the ball. I want to show my athleticism and do a little option, throw the ball, just have a very open offense."

Was it tough cutting it to 5?

"I think at times. I was basically looking at wide-open offenses that will let me do what I do in high school, throwing the ball and also running the ball. I think these 5 schools are basically the top 5 schools that will let me show my athleticism. These 5 schools are mainly the ones that I talked to the most, got a feel for their offense, know what they're doing and what their situation at quarterback is."

Chad estimated having about 40 offers. None of his final 5 teams have promised he would start right away.

Does he read the internet? Do people tell him what others are saying about him on the internet?

"I don't really listen to what people say. They have their own opinions and I respect that...It's the college coaches that come in, their opinion, that's what you have to respect and take into consideration. Right now, I really don't go on the internet. I don't search what this quarterback's doing or what [that quarterback is] doing, I just have to worry about myself...The only thing that I did go on the internet for is for looking at a college, what their campus is like and what they have for academics. Really, I've never paid attention to what people say on the internet."

Does he feel pressure to stay in-state?

"Of course, if you're in-state, everybody wants you to go to Penn State because they'll be able to see you. You take that into consideration if you want to go to a college [where] you want your community to come out and see you, then that's where you want to go. But, if you don't really worry about it, go somewhere else, go out of state."

Is JoePa's age used against him by others during recruiting?

"Definitely, as a matter of fact, most of them always do. They always persuade that 'Our coach will be here for this amount of years', but you really don't know that. This head coach could have a losing record and maybe the school dislikes that and they fire him right away. You really [have to consider] if that coach does leave, where does that put you [with regards to] the head coach job. Is it going to be in the family or is going to be someone from somewhere else. That's what you really have to look at."

Chad acknowledged that he could postpone a final decision if he felt he wasn't ready before the start of his senior season.

What will his unofficial visits to these schools during the summer entail?

"Basically, meeting the whole coaching staff, that's a big key, getting a feel for them, learning a little bit of their offense, seeing what they're going to do in the season, and just getting to know the campus and the players."

Does he have a schedule for visiting his final 5 schools?

"Basically, June 20 is when I'll be visiting the University of Michigan. I've already been to Penn State so many times, I know what Penn State's about and saw the campus. Miami is August 1st, 2nd and 3rd [when] we'll be going down there. Before that probably, to Georgia and Tennessee, going down south."

Has he ever spoken with Wilson's famous alumn, Kerry Collins?

"I really haven't talked to Kerry...I only talked to him basically when I was probably in sixth grade."

Has he visited any of the other schools besides Penn State?

"I was out to Michigan last June."

Besides the depth charts, what else will factor into his decision-making process?

"I think the style of offense also plays a big key. Right now, I'm looking for wide-open offenses. I also want to run the ball, do a little option. I think the recruiting class is a big key too, what players they've recruited and if they have the same goal-set as I do. You don't want recruits going in there and just saying, 'I'm coming here just to play Division I football and I'm not going to do anything about it'. You want people around you that are going to work just as hard as you are. So, I think that's a big key and also the communication with the coaches, having a relationship like Coach Cantafio and I do."

Whose opinion other than your own matters the most?

"My family. My parents really have been pretty much laid back. They don't ask me where I want to go. They just support wherever I decide. I really don't talk much at home about football. They know I don't want to talk about it and they just pretty much go on with their lives and just talk about stuff that we did in school or whatever. So, basically it's my parents."

Is the in-state pressure to go to Penn State starting to annoy you?

"Actually, during the season it's probably the worst. Even when we went to Dallastown, they had "Henne go to Penn State", a big banner at the top of the end zone while I was playing. I didn't even know it until I came to the sideline one time and just saw it. It was pretty ridiculous, just that someone would actually do that even at their own school that we're playing. Neighbors pretty much don't talk about it. They always want to come over and talk to you. I know a couple of my neighbors [wanted me] to come into [their] house and get some pictures. With Penn State, it's usually during the season when they bug you. After the game it's 'Go to Penn State, go to Penn State'. It really doesn't bother me. You just kind of ignore it sometimes and just walk into the lockerroom."

Are the academics at each of the 5 schools similar?

"Pretty much so, I know Tennessee is a little lower than the other four. Their graduation rate isn't as good as the others. But, pretty much every graduation rate is above 70% and that's a big key."

Chad is not planning to graduate high school early and attend a school for the 2004 spring semester because he wants to enjoy his last year of school.

He is planning to major in business.

Coach Cantafio:

"Chad and I had lunch with Joe [Paterno]...We were having lunch in downtown State College and he pulled out a napkin. I didn't realize Joe was a lefty. He starts diagramming plays. We were wondering what he was diagramming. He was diagramming plays that we ran in the district championship game verses Central Dauphin. He was telling us the number of wide-receivers, he said, 'This number three is a heck of a football player', it was Andy Lahatto. He didn't know the name, but he knew the number. He was asking Chad to explain to him how we blocked certain things because he really liked it. So people who say he might be getting old, forget about it. That's not true. He knows what's going on, he really does."

Chad Henne:

Did Paterno get that play right?

"You better believe it." Chad went on to explain all the details of the play about which Paterno was aware.

Why Georgia and Tennessee?

"Tennessee just jumped in it probably about a month ago when I talked to Coach Fullmer about the offense and the opportunity there with Casey Clausen going to be leaving since he'll be a senior next year. I think the idea of starting right away kind of jumps in your mind, and with the offense that they do run, I think it kind of just set in. Georgia, I met Coach Richt when I was in 9th grade. I think he's a great person. He's young, he knows what he's doing and I think he'll be at the University of Georgia for pretty much a long time. He's going to help out with their record. This past year they were in the top 5 and I think they'll keep being up in the top 5 with what they're doing right now."

Answers to the following questions can be found by clicking here to read the detailed Henne Press Conference Recap available to LionNews Total Access Pass subscribers only. If you are not a subscriber, clicking the link will allow you to sign up for a free 5-day trial:

How important is immediate playing time?

What are the chances of early playing time at Penn State?

What about the situations at the other schools?

Why did he decline an invitation to the Elite 11 camp?

How important is having friends and family able to see you play in person?

Joe Paterno can't coach forever. Does the possibility of his leaving concern you?

Does he have his final 5 list ordered in his own mind? Does he have some ahead of others?

Is his ultimate goal to play in the NFL? Does that play into his college decision?

Has he spoken with former Penn State players John and Pete Gilmore?

Are you the only QB being recruited by those 5 schools? If somebody gets another QB, will that affect your decision?

Would another commit affect his decision?

Is he the only QB PSU has offered? How long are they going to wait?

Isn't it true that Morelli is really waiting to see what you do with Penn State because I (the reporter asking the question) heard he really wants to go to Penn State?

Is PSU willing to wait?

If the kid in Texas says yes to Miami, does that strike them off the list?

How about similar scenarios at the other schools?

Did he ever consider Pitt?

Has PSU told you that they will offer Morelli if you don't make a decision soon?

Tell us about the QB coaches from the 5 schools and who you've talked to the most.

Is there a team that needs to be beaten out?

Is he worried that there might be too much pressure at Penn State?

Has he heard from alumns of any of the other schools?

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