Henne Chooses Wolverines

Chad Henne, the #4 rated QB in the nation by TheInsiders.com, accepted a scholarship offer to play for the Michigan Wolverines instead of electing to play for the home-state Nittany Lions. Here is the transcript of yesterday's press conference.

"It's been an experience," Chad said after thanking the Body Zone Sports Complex and the media in attendance. "You never thought you'd be like this. I mean, I came into my ninth grade year just being a little squirt thinking I was going to play J.V. football, but Coach Cantafio gave me the chance to play and I progressed every year and I think I owe it all to him. He developed me and I thank him very greatly for that. And, all the college coaches, I mean I can't say anything more about them. They've been high class and I adore them. This day, I just have to make the decision for which college I would like to go to and right now, I'll be announcing I'll be attending the University of Michigan."

After a round of applause, Chad answered any and all questions. The questions are paraphrased and only inserted when necessary for context.

Why Michigan?

"I think it's the tradition of Michigan. In the 90's, I think they developed every quarterback, the last five of them made it to the NFL and that's an eye-catcher right there for you. Just meeting with John Navarre when I went up to Michigan this past June, I think really tells how intelligent he became [since] he came to Michigan and how Scott Loeffler developed him. I think just seeing all the players and how they love to be there and they love the coaches there, really says how Michigan really develops a person there."

"Scott Loeffler is a great guy. The first time I met him it seemed like I knew him forever. He's a great friend of mine right now and I get along with him. One of the reasons I picked Michigan is because he was a player at Michigan. He got recruited there, he was one of the top quarterbacks in the nation being recruited out of high school. He's been there, he's been through it, even though he went down with an injury. He went all through college. He's been coached by Cam Cameron, the quarterback coach from Michigan, and he just feeds off of that. He's a great guy and he knows what he's talking about."

"This past week, I just kept it all inside. If I had to talk, I talked to Coach Cantafio Monday and we just let it all out."

When did he inform Michigan?

"Last night around 11:00, Coach Walber (spelling?), who used to be my linebacker coach when I was in ninth grade maybe if I got to play but he wouldn't let me, he called me at 11:00. Scott Loeffler called him and said he wanted to talk, so I called him and then I committed then."

Could he change his mind?

"I think right now it's clear cut. I mean, I made my decision and it's in cement right now. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm not going to change my mind."

"It came down to three schools, Penn State, Miami and Michigan. Miami and Michigan run the west coast offense. Penn State's on the uprise of developing a great offense and I just felt comfortable with west coast since that's what we run in high school and just going into that system I think I know pretty much a lot of it right now and it will be easy for me to encounter."

When did you inform Penn State?

"Well right now, they don't know, so, once it gets out in the media they know and then I'll talk to them. I'll give them respect because that's all I have for them. They're a great program and their coaches were very good when they recruited me and I have no bad things to say about Penn State."

When did you know it was going to be Michigan?

"I went on vacation the 12th of July and I took the visit around June 20th to Michigan. In that time span, I was thinking about it. I mean, it was still wishy washy, but then once I came in I had my heart set on it. That was probably around mid-July I'd say."

"Penn State was second, yes."

"It was very hard. Everybody wants you to go to Penn State because they get to see you at Penn State. It's a 2 1/2-hour drive. But, you just got to go where you feel is best for you. You can't worry about anybody else."

"Probably in May I was probably leaning towards Penn State more, but then once I got on the visit because last year when I had visited Michigan, I wasn't very sure because I didn't see all the sights they had. And then once I got up there this June, I knew my heart was set for them."

Talk about the June visit to Michigan.

"We got there on a Friday and we met in their facility where the coaches are and we visited with Coach Carr. Scott Loeffler wasn't there yet, he had to attend a wedding. Coach Boccher was there. We just had a little dinner that night and then Saturday was when it really got kicked off. Scott Loeffler was there, Coach Carr, we had a meeting and everything. We probably sat in there for about an hour and forty minutes with my parents and grandparents. That's basically it. They told me everything. I went around with John Navarre, around the campus, and he showed me his house, he showed me the players. I got to know the players. I met with Tim Massaquoi from Parkland. I got to get his feeling. Tim Massaquoi's a great guy. I played against him when we scrimmaged them my freshman year and he told me all the great things, what happened with him and how they developed him. So, it was a no-brainer once I visited up there."

"Coach Carr, you can't say anything about him. I mean, he's a great guy. I visited with him twice now, 2 or 3 times when he came up for the speaking of Coach Cantafio, well, the award. He's a great speaker, he's motivational. And, just being around John Navarre, he said that Coach Carr walks around the field and tries to put you down and get you ready for that game. He'll put you down if you're not working hard and he'll get you to work hard every day. I can't say anything more about Coach Carr, he's a great guy."

"Penn State was up high because I would probably redshirt there and then get in a battle with Robinson. And Michigan, last year they told me they were going to redshirt me, but this year they said, 'No, we're going to have you work hard in the off-season before you come up and then you're going to battle it out for the starting job'."

"We went up [to Penn State] the first week of March and we met with [Joe Paterno] for a little bit. I've been up there for games all the time and he's always been grabbing my shoulder and saying, 'you gotta come here, you gotta come here'. We had lunch the one day. What really impressed me, he watched our highlight tape from Central Dauphin and he picked one play out and drew it on a napkin and I think that's the main story that goes with it, we've been telling it all over. He sketched out the exact play. He knew who was coming, who was uncovered and he knew the play just like that and you gotta respect him for that. He's always been there, he knows what he's doing and I think for these next years, I think he'll do great with his program. I think he'll let it all hang out for the last couple years."

Chad has never been to a game at Michigan.

His parents didn't know his decision until he announced it at the press conference.

"Jay Paterno's a great quarterback coach and so is Scott Loeffler. They both know the game. They wouldn't be at a Division I-A school if they didn't know what they're doing. So, they both know what they're doing and I think it's just the style of offense that you're in at college, to progress at quarterback. It's not like Penn State never had a quarterback to go to the NFL, it's just that I felt more comfortable at Michigan and with Scott Loeffler. I mean, I enjoyed being with Jay Paterno, I had conversations with him, we were buds. I just chose Michigan because that's where I felt comfortable."

When did he know?

"July 12th through like the 19th and team camp."

Why didn't he announce then? "I made sure I knew what I was doing. I made sure I was 100 percent sure that Michigan was the place I wanted to go. I waited a little while just to know that I was positive."

Why not Miami?

"You got to look at Miami. Sure, it's a great tradition there, but they got 5 All-Americans sitting there. You have to look at that. Sure, you're going to compete and see which one's better, but it's just a heck of a duty to do there and I just felt why waste all the time there if you're just going to sit the bench."

Ever talk with Zack Mills?

"I said hi to him. I never had a conversation with him or anything."

Chad said he talked to Bill Kenney "two nights ago".


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