Ohio Pipeline?

Following in the footsteps of a former Mountaineer, this Ohio defender had an excellent second trip to West Virginia last Saturday to check out the WVU football program.

"The visit was good," said Worthington Kilbourne's Derrick Henry, who was on campus for the second time this year. "I went to West Virginia over the summer, so I saw a lot of the things I had seen before. It was a really good trip, and the weight room is just fabulous. Everything there is very nice. It's where a player would want to be"

Henry attends the same school as just departed Mountaineer standout Mike Lorello, who made a name for himself in Mountaineer lore with big plays and tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Henry, whose older brother Chris (not the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver) was friend with Mike, struck up a renewed relationship with him recently.

"Mike Lorello was friends with my older brother when they were in school together, so I have known him for a while," Derrick said. "I started talking to him again a few days before I visited WVU. He has talked to me and told me some great things, and just encouraged me to keep playing well, and that the recruiting process would play itself out."

Lorello rose from the lower ranks of high school evaluations to become a top flight Division IA player, and there's no doubt that career path is something Henry would like to follow. He is in the process of sending out senior film now, and hopes to be receiving offers from some of his favorites soon.

"West Virginia, Minnesota, Illinois and Cincinnati are the schools I like right now," the thoughtful, well-spoken senior said. "I've just sent out film to those schools, and they told me they want to see my senior film before they make a decision about offering me. We just played against Westerville-South and I held B.J. Cunningham no catches and no yards, so I made sure to get that game in there too."

Henry, one of many Ohio defenders who are getting long looks from the Mountaineer coaching staff, was pleased with his visit to WVU.

"The coaches are very personable, and Coach Tall and I are in touch often. We keep up to date on everything that is going on. He told me that he would be reviewing my film as soon as he got it."

Henry, who played both ways as a junior, is concentrating on defense this year, but that hasn't limited his ability to show his range as a player. He has played "every position except defensive line," while racking up 50 tackles, three forced fumbles, two sacks, two tacklers for losses, an interception and four quarterback hurries so far this year.

"I only have one interception because people aren't throwing my way this year," said Henry, who stands tall at six-one and 190 pounds. "Our other cornerback is about 5-9, so when they throw they usually stay away from me."

Although he has experience as a wide receiver as well, Henry is likely to land on defense in college.

"Mostly everyone is recruiting me as an athlete. Schools feel like I could play multiple spots on defense. I know West Virginia is looking for safeties, so I could play there too. They told me it depends on what they see on my film."

To date, Henry has an offer from Ball State, and plans to take an official visit there. But while he doesn't want to delay the recruiting process, he also doesn't want to make a rushed decision that he might regret later.

"I want to take it slow and make sure I make the right decision, and that it's my final decision," said Henry, who has obviously given the process a food deal of thought. "If I have several offers, I may take several official visits if the opportunity is there. But I'm looking at making a decision by the end of November or beginning of December."


Henry listed several items that he is looking for in a school and includes an attribute that he believes will help whichever school he winds up with.

"My number one thing I'm looking at from a school is its academics. I am interested in the law enforcement field or criminal justice. I want to go to a school that has the chance to have a good record over the four or five years I am there. One thing that separates me from other players is the fact that I am a competitor. I am going to fight to get a victory. If we don't get a win, I feel like there was something else I could have done to get it."

* * *

Henry's team is competing with a lot of younger players, having lost 35 seniors from last year's squad that went to the regional finals. Nine sophomores are in the starting lineup, and along with a new coaching staff some growing pains have naturally resulted.

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