Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edwards linebacker Troy Henderson committed to Syracuse in July over Nebraska and Rutgers among others. He has been solid in his decision ever since, not visiting any other schools.
But the last two weeks before signing day, as Syracuse well knows, can be some of the more drama filled days throughout the cycle. This year is no exception. One player not involved in said drama is Henderson, despite attempts from other programs to include him in it.
”They were just telling me that they wanted me or whatever,” Henderson said. “Asked me if I was interested. I told them I’m staying with Syracuse. I’m going with one of the first schools that offered and I was one of the first players they offered.
”So I’m standing by them with my commitment. So I just told them I’m not doing any flip-flopping at the last minute. I’m 100% committed to Syracuse.”
The weekend visit only strengthened those feelings, especially spending time with his future teammates. Oh, and the food, of course.
”My favorite part was hanging around all of the players,” Henderson said. “Being around them and seeing how they are. Then spending time with the coaches, talking about life and football. My other favorite part was probably eating. We ate really good. I probably gained like seven pounds from eating all the food.
”My host was Zaire Franklin. I was with him a lot. He’s real cool. That’s my boy. He told me that the hardest thing is being able to manage your time right. You have to be able to come up in the summer and be in shape and ready to work. Study the playbook after I sign in a week and a half so I can be ready to compete and help other guys in the locker room.”
A big highlight was being able to bond with the coaching staff. He spent time talking to several of them, and enjoyed every conversation.
”All of them really,” Henderson said. “But the ones I talked to the most were (linebackers) coach (Clark) Lea, (defensive coordinator Chuck) Bullough and (head) coach (Scott) Shafer. Coach Shafer was talking about being from Ohio and how he wants tough kids and he sees that in me. How he’s working in the program and trying to get things going.
”Coach Lea was saying that once I’m signed he’s going to get me the stuff I need to know. Just keep doing what I’m doing and keep working out. Coach Bullough was talking about how the defense works, running to the ball and making plays on the ball.”
Henderson spent time with the rest of the visitors sitting in section 103 of the Carrier Dome watching the Orange face Miami in an ACC basketball game. While large crowds are nothing new to the 6-foot-1 linebacker, the noise certainly got his attention.
”I'm kind of used to it,” Henderson said. “At our high school we have some pretty crazy crowds. But it got real loud and our gym doesn’t get that loud. It wasn’t even filled up because it was only half filled. And when it got loud, it got real loud. That was cool to see the fans and the players come support the basketball team.”
In addition, a big highlight was Henderson seeing the completed indoor practice facility in person. The three star linebacker is glad the Orange decided to build the structure and it should help the team continue to work towards getting better. He added he cannot wait until the summer when he can start using it on a regular basis.