A new start for Dupage's Trulon Henry

Sports stories are filled with tales of redemption, but College of Dupage S Trulon Henry (6-1, 225) might have one of the better ones out there. The talented DB is the older brother of Illinios star wideout Arrelious Benn, but a series of bad decisions led to a stint in prison and now he's doing what he can to rebuild his life using football as the centerpiece of change...

Henry prepped at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. and had schools like Tennessee-Chattanooga, East Carolina and Kent State very interested in what he could do on the football field. However academics befell his dreams and, inexplicably, he decided the fall after he graduated (in 2003) to enter a branch bank in a Safeway supermarket and, at gun point point, rob it.

"To this day, I still am not sure what happened and why I did the things I did," a sheepish Henry told JCFootball.com. "I just made a series of bad decisions that led to it. I can't blame anyone else. It was my bad decisions that put me in that situation and when I was caught, it was over."

"'Growing up in hard times, you want to help your family out," Henry told the Chicago Sun Times last fall. "'You really don't know which way to go. I thought I was doing a positive, but it was the worst mistake I ever could have made."

Henry spent the next four years of his life, but stayed in shape and when he was released last April he began looking for a way to rebuild his life as well as play the game he loved.

"A friend I know is an assistant coach at my old high school," Henry said. "He started making some calls. It was sorta a decision between going out to California, because they play great football out there, or stay closer to home and when College of Dupage came up, it just seemed like the best place for me."

"It may sound like a cliche', but I believe people deserve second chances," Dupage head coach Fred Fimbres told the Sun Times. "Our whole program, and the community college in general, is built on that premise. The majority of our student-athletes are in need of reinventing themselves, whether it be athletically, academically or socially. Some people would rather not take that chance. But after speaking with him, it was a slam dunk."

Last season, Henry lived up to the expectations of him, both on and off the field. He put up solid numbers -- 96 tackles and one interception -- while getting it rolling in the classroom, allowing him to dream of playing D-1 football.

"I just got back in the flow of things," Henry noted. "It felt so good to be back out there. One week my brother (Benn) came and watched one of my games. I was pretty nervous, but I played well and he was cheering me on, just like I used to do for him. It was a great feeling"

Henry so impressed scouts and JUCO football observers that he was named a JC Gridwire Preseason Third Team All-American entering the season and has been everything expected, posting 18 tackles in the Chaparrals' first two games.

"I'm mainly at strong safety," Henry said. "They put me down there and I play the run really well, but I've been working on my pass coverage and drops and stuff like that and that area is starting to come for me pretty well too."

Schools have been pragmatic in their approach to recruiting Henry, but he's seen things pick up a bit.

"I've been hearing from Illinois, Arizona, Kansas State, East Carolina and a few other schools," Henry said. "None of them have offered me yet, but I'm getting film out to them and they are talking to my coaches. I know they have to make sure I'm good to go and because of my history they might be a little worried about things, but I've straightened things out and I'm only focused on school and football now.

"Another school I really like a lot is Oregon. I'm getting ready to send things out to them and see if they might be interested. They have a 'Rover' position in their defense and that fits my style and skills perfectly."

Because of the work he's done in the classroom, Henry is on pace to graduate in December and he'll have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

Trulon Henry Scout Profile

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