Willie Henry to the NFL Draft Comment Count

Brian January 13th, 2016 at 9:16 PM

Welp, Willie Henry is headed to the draft, and has set a record for longest screenshot of the Notes app in recorded history.

Henry was an under the radar recruit out of Cleveland Glenville who Brady Hoke picked up on late; his raw power wasn't matched by his technique until this year, when he put together a breakout year along with the rest of the defensive line. In honor of his tendency to hurl people away from him entertainingly he's got a "willie henry throws humans" tag; he played at an All Conference level and probably won't last past the third round. With remaining upside I wouldn't be surprised if someone grabbed him sooner. Any concerns that Michigan's NFL draft streak might end can cease, at least?

In Henry's absence Michigan is likely to move Maurice Hurst into the starting three-tech role; they still go 6-7 deep on the line with quality players. Henry's departure does hurt Michigan's chances of fielding a full-on Alabama-style line. It also opens up a scholarship; Michigan now has 19 spots available and counting.



January 14th, 2016 at 12:12 AM ^

Good god, so dramatic. We could have lost Wormley, Butt, Taco, Henry and Lewis all to the draft this year.  Instead, one guy goes from the deepest positon on the team. While he is quite good, at least he is replaceable. Losing one guy who is clearly a top of the draft talent (thus predictable he leaves) is not getting shit on, it's natural. We should consider ourselvse lucky we only lost one guy, and he is replaceable. Get a grip. 


January 14th, 2016 at 6:54 AM ^

Dude we got back every other player that was looking at going pro early, even without Gary this will be a really good recruiting class, and Michigan has one of the best coaches in the country. Henry leaving wasn't unexpected and the DLine still has a bunch of good players. Some perspective is needed here methinks.

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January 13th, 2016 at 9:24 PM ^

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh good luck Willie aaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeiiiiieieeeeeiiiiiiiieeeeiiiiii loved watching you at UM nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 

Black Socks

January 13th, 2016 at 9:24 PM ^

I understand his family needs him to go.  Completely understandable big fella.  Thanks for your time at Michigan.  You're a hell of a player.  Good luck in the league.  Go Blue!!


January 14th, 2016 at 9:56 AM ^

I kind of hate comments that reference vague financial issues as motivators. While that may very well be the case, it’s not mentioned anywhere in his statement. Maybe that’s made clearer on paywalled sites, but it’s by no means public knowledge and seems like needless speculation. Just the facts, ma’am.


January 13th, 2016 at 11:59 PM ^

Ending up with the home team isn't always a great thing, and not just because it would be the Browns in this case.

Being close to home means a lot of pressure and a lot of "friends" and "family" close by while you are trying to make it in the league. That can be a bad influence and be bad for the bank account.

I've read a lot of stories and interviews where athletes arent that eager to play in their hometown. They can go back and live there after they retire, or even if the offseason if they are so inclined. I think we as fan's make the "playing close to home" thing a bigger thing than a lof of the athletes.


January 14th, 2016 at 10:10 AM ^

I'd agree that every player and every situation is different. Some don't care to be near "home," and it means more to others. There's more than one way to skin a cat. I'll just say that for those who have a decent family situation and like an area, there's a lot to be said for playing on the "home team."


January 13th, 2016 at 9:27 PM ^

I think it's a win on the front that we are showing Glenville what we can do with their raw talent. Two players Ohio State didn't want and we send them to the league with Henry and Clark.

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January 13th, 2016 at 9:53 PM ^

I thought 2016 class might be an anomaly with OSU winning NC, MSU with back to back top 5 finishes and its staff deeply entrenched in OH and ND grabbing 2 of the top 5 OH kids but as I am glancing at the 2017 kids and offers we have very few out to OH in that class either.  This would be a very strange long term strategy for Jim - basically conceding the best state in the Midwest for talent to MSU OSU and ND.  Right now there are about 60 "warm interests" in the 2017 class on 247 and only 1 is from OH (a TE).  Very heavy focus on TX, FL, NJ, etc.


January 13th, 2016 at 10:37 PM ^

Does the lack of Ohio recruiting matter? Michigan has the #2 class in the country right now with a grand total of 0 commits from Ohio. There are good players in OH but there are simply more good players in FL, TX and CA. You obviously don't want to completely ignore OH but if he's getting similarly rated players from FL and NJ (which produces as much talent as PA) then it really makes no difference.

I actually think Harbaugh has the correct long term strategy considering the demographic trends in the country. Pivot away from the Midwest and recruit more in GA, FL, TX and CA.

Also keep in mind that OH recruits have grown up during a time when OSU has won 13 out of the last 15 games against Michigan. OSU has also won two NCs and has played for another two during this span. Meyer is 50-4 since taking over at OSU and just narrowly missed out on defending the title this year. Meanwhile, Michigan just now seems to be remerging onto the national scene for the first time since 2006. If you're Michigan, that's a lot you have to overcome when you are recruiting a kid from OH. You can either spend time going head to head against OSU for OH recruits or you can do down to FL where there are so many good players that FSU, UF and Miami can't keep all of them. 


January 13th, 2016 at 11:53 PM ^

Ohio is the 4th best recruting state in the country behind California, Texas and Florida (the last time that I checked).  So, if for some reason Michigan doesn't do well in NJ, Texas, Florida, California, etc.; then it will matter that they aren't recruiting in Ohio.

Maybe Harbaugh and the staff don't have many connections in Ohio.


January 14th, 2016 at 6:47 AM ^

Not even close, Georgia is 4th behind the big three and it's by a wide margin. Last year something like 120 power 5 recruits were from Georgia compared to 60 from Ohio. Ohio should still be an important part of Michigan's recruiting strategy(it produces a lot of players and it's close and Michigan should arguably be no worse than the third favorite school there behind OSU and ND)but it's not the player producing juggernaut we usually assume it to be.

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January 14th, 2016 at 2:34 AM ^

Some of the 3-5 players that M traditionally gets from Ohio, guys like Willie Henry, will end up at OSU or MSU now, teams in our division.

I dont think M's quality of players would be hurt even if we never take an Ohio kid again, but our rivals will be strengthened. Sure, we can get a Willie Henry from FL, but that lets the Willie Henry from OH go to MSU, whereas that Florida kid probably wouldn't.


January 14th, 2016 at 8:04 AM ^

Yeah, if a guy like Jake Butt isn't a Michigan commit then he's a risk for another school because if OSU wants to take a look at him late and offer, 4 out of 5 times he'll flip over to the home school if he isn't committed to UM or Notre Dame. I just feel like it's making OSU's job in-state that much easier.