Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
THE RECRUITING GUY:
Bruins’ tight end Henry everybody’s All-American
Pulaski Academy tight end Hunter Henry (right), an Arkansas commitment, says playing in the Under Armour All American game in January is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
LITTLE ROCK Pulaski Academy’s Hunter Henry’s high school career has included helping the Bruins to last year’s Class 4A state title and earning a scholarship offer from Arkansas, which led to an oral commitment to the Hogs during the summer.
He added to his resume Oct. 26 when he was presented his game jersey for the Under Armour All American game that will be played Jan. 4 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that many people don’t have,” said Henry, 6-5, 235 pounds, 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash. “It’s an amazing feat I’ve been able to accomplish, and I’m happy to be a part of the Under Amour All American game.”
Pulaski Academy Coach Kevin Kelley said Henry has handled the attention well.
“You put him in front of a camera, and he’s just himself,” Kelley said. “He’s always talking about his teammates. He’s humble and very gracious to be in the situation that he’s in. You couldn’t ask for any more to have a kid represent himself, his family, our coaching staff, our team and our school.”
Henry has 77 receptions for 978 yards and 11 touchdowns as the Bruins (8-2) prepare for the opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs next week. For his career, he has 186 receptions for 2,819 yards and 37 touchdowns.
While his receiving skills are top-notch, Kelley said Henry’s blocking is outstanding as well.
“His blocking is unbelievable in the open field,” Kelley said. “That’s what really stand outs out to me. Whether it’s a run or we throw a pass and he’s 30 yards down the field, the second he sees it leave the quarterback’s hands and it’s not coming to him, he turns and finds somebody and attacks.”
Henry is rated as the No. 52 prospect in the nation by national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. He also received invitations to play in the U.S. Army and Semper Fidelis All-American games.
SOPHOMORE REAL CATCH
Early in the summer, Bryant Coach Paul Calley said sophomore receiver K.J. Hill had a chance to be a special player who should be able to play at the major college level.
Hill’s performance this season hasn’t lessened Calley’s thinking.
“He’s everything I thought he would be and more,” Calley said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a sophomore who’s had such an impact on the team, someone that has that much poise and understanding of the game.”
Hill, 6-0, 170, 4.5, is drawing interest from Arkansas, where he has attended two games this season.
Hill had 26 carries for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns and 33 receptions for 519 yards and 8 touchdowns going into Thursday’s game against El Dorado. He’s also had returned nine kickoffs for 235 yards.
“I can’t help but think if we had been playing in the [7A/6A] Central conference, where he had to play four quarters every Friday night, I think he would have a 1,000 yards receiving,” Calley said.
Calley said Hill plays more like a seasoned player than a sophomore.
“He makes adjustments to routes. He finds holes,” Calley said. “He does things that a veteran receiver would do. He adjusts to balls so well and catches things”
Calley said Hill has gotten better with his blocking but needs to continue to improve that part of his game.
“I think that’s going to come in time with more size and experience,” Calley said. “That’s the only thing that doesn’t come natural. When you’re as good as he is, you don’t have to block too much.”
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Sports, Pages 40 on 11/04/2012