DE KJ Henry of Clemmons, NC will be among the top recruits at Clemson Saturday night for the Auburn game. This will not be his first visit to Clemson for a game or for recruiting purposes. So, he’s already highly familiar with the campus, the academics and the program. He’s certainly get the full recruiting treatment from Dabo Swinney and others, but Henry said Thursday his primary purpose for this trip is to see a quality college football matchup.
Clemson, USC, Georgia, Alabama and Virginia Tech are the finalists for Henry and he’s been to each school. His plan now is to get to some games at the schools, take his official visits later in the fall and make a decision in mid to late December.
“I know the experiences, I know what the fans are going to be like and that type of thing,” Henry said. “I think one of the things is just to watch some good football like this weekend when Clemson plays Auburn. You know, that’s going to be a good football game so that’s definitely one of the things. Another is getting to see the coaches again and getting to see the players. I’m just taking advantage but at the same time I will get to see X (Clemson DE commitment Xavier Thomas) and some great coaches and a great game.”
Henry has done his homework on his finalists and one of the major appealing factors for Clemson is its recent history with defensive ends developing into NFL draft picks.
“They just have a lot of success right now in the defensive end position and with that comes a lot of guys going to the NFL,” Henry said. “In the next two years the starters they have right now will be going to the next level and they are definitely going to need some guys to fill those positions up. And the culture they bring to the game and the family atmosphere, they are definitely letting me know about all of it.”
Also working for Clemson with Henry is his relationship with Thomas. The two are friends and Henry said he can’t ignore what it would mean to play along the same defensive line with him.
“That’s definitely appealing. I hear from him at least once or twice a month and we talk about it.”
USC doesn’t have that kind of angle with Henry, but they do have Will Muschamp’s recruiting efforts. The Gamecocks’ head coach has made Henry his personal recruiting target, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“He was down here to watch us play Mount Tabor (last week), so I think the fact you have a head coach you get to talk to a lot is a pretty cool thing,” Henry said. “Just getting to talk with Coach Muschamp and being able to take an early role as well as being a pass rusher there is definitely appealing. But the thing that hits home with them is that defensive ends are seen as a big priority and talking to the head coach as your main recruiter means a lot about how much that school really wants you.”
Henry said he will take an official visit to USC for one of the games but he’s not sure which one. He will also return to Clemson for an official visit. He has not set any dates for official visits and has not determined any other unofficial visits he will take for games.