Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Razorbacks staying after DE commitment
2024 defensive lineman Kavion Henderson
Highly recruited junior defensive end Kavion Henderson committed to Arkansas on Nov. 6, and the Razorbacks are being relentless in making sure he stays that way.
“There’s a lot of schools still in contact with me and saying they’re still going to recruit me no matter what, trying to get me to flip, but Arkansas, we’re keeping a good relationship,” Henderson said. “They’re still doing what they’re doing, which I like.”
Henderson, 6-3, 238 pounds, of Leeds, Ala., had narrowed his list of more than 40 scholarship offers to Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Auburn before picking the Razorbacks.
He said he communicates with Arkansas coach Sam Pittman, defensive line coach Deke Adams, assistant defensive line coach Keith Jones, special teams coordinator Scott Fountain and newly hired defensive coordinator Travis Williams.
“Everybody is on me, not just one or two guys. Like five guys (are) recruiting me,” Henderson said. “That stands out the most.”
Henderson is familiar with Williams, who recruited him when he was coaching at Central Florida.
“I went down to UCF. I visited down there,” Henderson said. “He had a lot of energy. He’s a great guy. I know he was a great defensive coordinator. He’s a future head coach.
“I just know he’s a great guy and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does.”
ESPN rates Henderson a 4-star prospect, the No. 12 defensive end and No. 51 overall recruit in the 2024 class. If his ESPN grade of 85 stands until he signs, Henderson would tie for the fourth-highest rated signee in the ESPN era with former Razorbacks tight ends Hunter Henry and Hudson Henry.
His close friend and Arkansas cornerback signee Dallas Young of Gardendale, Ala., urged him take a look at the Razorbacks after his pledge to the program late in 2021. The two visited Fayetteville three times together, which helped Henderson pledge to the Razorbacks.
“Dallas has been telling me he’s ready to work with me, ready to be teammates with me,” Henderson said.
Young, who plans to enroll at Arkansas in January, should expect to see Henderson visiting him and the Razorbacks in the near future.
“I’m looking to get back up to Arkansas for a junior day and schedule my [official visit],” Henderson said. “I don’t know when, but I’m going to schedule it soon.”
Henderson has a strong relationship with Adams and is looking forward to being coached by him.
“He’s a great guy. He’s cool. My coach told me he came to my school a few times, but we couldn’t talk,” Henderson said. “Coach [Adams] texted me Happy New Year. And he said he can’t wait to see me again and is excited about me as a player and even more as a young man.
“He said he can’t wait to coach me. Like I told him when I talked to him, ‘I’m ready, Coach. I can’t wait.’ I tell Coach Pittman that I’m ready to play. I wish I could graduate this year.”
Henderson committed to the Razorbacks on his late grandfather Clifford Henderson’s birthday. His grandmother Rhonda Henderson and grandfather raised him once he was six months old.
“I just work hard to just get my grandma a bigger house,” Henderson said. “That’s my goal in life.”
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