Stick with Oklahoma? UGA flip? 4-star ATH Mikey Henderson Jr. breaks that down
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. The play sheet today calls for an introduction to a big UGA target that’s been hiding in plain sight. That would be Oklahoma commit Mikey Henderson Jr. out of Texas.
There’s a line lifted from the 2012 film “Django Unchained” which is now immortal. That’s because there is now a GIF of said dialogue available on every smartphone.
That Quentin Tarantino line goes: “Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.”
It serves as a fitting introduction for DawgNation regarding Georgia’s chances to flip Oklahoma commitment Mikey Henderson Jr. in the 2020 class.
The transplanted Texan was once a QB on the 247Sports Composite, but he now aligns on those rankings as the nation’s No. 10 ATH and No. 263 overall prospect.
The 6-foot-2.5, 238-pounder was in Athens last weekend on an official visit. He took his official to Norman late last month. Those are the only two schools he is considering. At all.
He feels he can still chuck a pigskin about 60 or 70 yards. This is his first year playing in the slot and at wide receiver and tight end for Ranchview High. The senior missed most of 2018 (all but three games) with an injury.
Henderson plays all over but has developed into a red-zone specialist. This explosive athlete can really elevate for jump balls. Recent clips on social media have also shown him to be a ready and willing blocker. He can erase his assignments from the play.
— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) October 19, 2019
Check out his senior film first below. His junior tape is embedded after that.
The thought of Henderson attached to the edge or flexed out intrigues in the Georgia offense. He can hammer away in multiple sets in the Bulldog rushing attack.
And yet when it is time to go deep and race downfield, he has that, too.
It, as we shall finally say, tugs at our curiosity.
That attention-grabbing part: Mikey Henderson Jr.
There’s a 540-pound squat to Henderson to unpack here. Plus his mid-4.6 times in the 40. Maybe it is his 350-pound bench press.
The eyebrows raise when he shares he broke his school’s record in the power clean as a sophomore. They arch like a volcano peak after learning he can now explode off the ground with 370 pounds.
(For those that don’t know, that is a serious power clean. Nick Chubb stuff.)
“I’m coming for Saquon [Barkley] and his 405 [pound power clean] and I’m trying to get that my freshman year,” he said.
— Coach Whitaker (@coach_whitaker) February 28, 2019
While scanning around the Sanford Stadium crowd on Saturday, there were maybe 10-12 recruits left in the West End Zone bleachers by halftime.
Henderson, Oklahoma commit and all, was one of those. His parents had opted to go inside, but he was proud to note his recruiting ambassador was there with him, too.
“She was there,” Henderson told DawgNation. “She was a soldier, too. It was me and her. Everyone else was inside.”
The dots begin to connect. Why would an out-of-state prospect sit amid conditions fit for a reenactment of that “Forrest Gump” upside-down and the sideways-rain scene if he wasn’t seriously interested?
As it turns out, he clearly is.
If this was a match race between the schools in a 40, Oklahoma still leads. Let’s put them on the 35. He is still committed to the Sooners.
But what about Georgia?
“Georgia is in there,” he said. “It is a close race. Georgia is on the 34. It is close.”
5 interesting things from Mikey Henderson Jr.
Henderson also said several more things that grab the attention. Pretty much like Mikey Henderson did that 25-yard touchdown in overtime to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa back in 2007.
Georgia got into the picture with Henderson when tight ends coach Todd Hartley came to the staff. Hartley is recruiting him.
The most simple way to say things is that Georgia views him as a tight end. Oklahoma is recruiting him to be an athletic H-Back in Lincoln Riley’s points-a-palooza.
“Georgia and Hartley really started recruiting me heavily in the summer,” Henderson said. “I’d say that was when Georgia began to have a serious shot. From talking to coach [Kirby] Smart and coach Hartley over the summer.”
He plans to major in communications. Sports broadcasting could be his 40-year plan. He has the tools for it. When he speaks, he conveys his points clearly.
- “I’m done,” he said on the subject of taking any more officials other than Oklahoma and Georgia. “I’ve got three left but I’m not taking anymore, though. Those are really the only two schools. I’m committed to OU, well, but I’m still looking at Georgia like this is a school I am heavily talking to. It is between those two schools so there’s really no point in taking them. I know that one of those two schools is where I want to be at.”
- “That’s something right there with my situation at Oklahoma,” answering a question on how much he likes to block. “They want me to play H-back and I don’t feel that’s what I am. I don’t feel like I can showcase my talent enough playing that position. I feel like they block a little too much for my liking at Oklahoma. I feel like on their route concepts and pass plays they do a lot of blocking. If they do run a route, it is like a late check-down route. That’s not my game.”
- “I just like how they are real,” when asked what he likes most about UGA. “I talked to coach Smart and I don’t feel like they are going to ‘BS’ you. I feel like whatever they have to say is real. Georgia, a top program like that, I don’t feel like they have a reason to lie to recruits. Because they don’t need anybody. They already are elite. They are just real with that and they are down-to-earth people.”
- “I’ve already talked to OU about my concerns with the offense and they know how I feel about Georgia,” Henderson added. “I was talking to them about it. So they want me to come up there again and sit in the film room and talk about it. So I probably have another visit up to Oklahoma. Do one more and then a decision will be made by the end of the month of November.”
- “Just when I was sitting own in that film room with Coach Smart,” he said on the biggest reason why Georgia might flip him. “He was telling me just how much of a priority I am to them. Just the situation in their tight end room next year. I know the situation. It would be a great opportunity to get on the field early. There’s a lot of positions where you can’t come to Georgia now and get on the field early. But I feel like the tight end is one of them. They told me that. They pulled the depth chart up and that was the stuff to back it up.”
He would like to make his final decision known at the All-American Bowl in Texas. If he gets a late invite to that game, then he will share it there.
That was his first trip to Georgia, too. It kind of shocked some members of his family they were in Athens at all. He said they kind of felt that he was all Oklahoma.
What is this starting to sound like? Is Oklahoma is the stone-cold fox he’s always wanted to be with? But maybe Georgia might just be the better choice for a long-lasting relationship?
“That’s exactly like a perfect comparison,” he said. “I would say that. That’s spot-on right there.”
It seems that UGA has Henderson’s attention, too.
OU and UGA: The position fits for Mikey Henderson Jr.
His favorite route is the corner post. That is a tell to what position he thinks would be his best Saturday fit.
“I’m not necessarily like a tight end,” he said. “I’m definitely not an H-back. I would say I’m more like a bigger slot receiver. Because if you look at my film, I can line up in the slot. I can line up outside. I’m just like a bigger receiver and I can run every route in the route tree. I know it well because I played quarterback. Then I’ve got my hands.”
“I would say I’m like a bigger receiver.”
When that discussion continued, the January enrollee said the term “Flex End” fits his toolbox.
Henderson shared his view on what the Bulldogs have at tight end.
“They have a lot of tight ends in that room that would be the traditional tight end,” he said. “They block and they are good. But they don’t have that yards-after-catches thing to them. That’s what I feel like. That’s what I feel like Georgia is looking for. If you watch my film, that’s what I bring. I feel like Georgia is a good opportunity for me to showcase what I do in that offense.”
Check that film. Henderson is making plays on balls in the air. Jump balls especially.
“I love going up in the air to get that ball,” Henderson said. “I feel like when that ball is in the air, I expect to come down with it every time. I like going deep and coming down with it to catch those jump balls. I just like catching the ball, getting it in space, taking that deep shot with my quarterback and going up over somebody.”
Can he block? That 370-pound power clean shows he can lift Jordan Davis-sized men off the ground.
“I don’t mind blocking at all,” he said. “That’s something that I take pride in. That is all part of being a complete player.”
Mikey Henderson Jr. compares Georgia and Oklahoma
He likes the winning tradition at both schools.
“I just like the people at Oklahoma,” he said. “That was my first offer. So like obviously that’s the school that I have the best relationship with the coaches. I’ve done been down there ten times so I know it. In my heart, I would say that it is OU. They show gratitude and love towards my family. But it is not just about the relationship with the people.”
Henderson knows Smart can get testy. There are plenty of viral “GIFs” about that, too. But he views it as a positive.
“I just like how he doesn’t sugarcoat anything,” he said. “He is going to tell you that once you get there when you do something wrong and something goes wrong he is going to get on you. He is going to coach you hard. You can tell it. You can tell it in the locker room after the games. I bet at halftime, too. He’s going to coach his players hard. That’s what you want. He isn’t going to lie about it. He is going to tell you that when you are sitting in his office with your parents and your family.”
“He is going to tell you if something goes wrong, he is going to get into you. But it is only to make you better. If you can say something to a recruit like that and let them know that you are going to rip into them when they mess up, that’s something that I liked about him.”
Do some film scouring of your own. Check those reels. There’s an Easter Egg that has nothing to do with blocking or route running or catching. He was given the ball on a jet sweep.
There were 7-8 defenders with a chance to bring him down. He took that one to the crib.
“When folks see a guy do something like that, then they can tell he a man is a big-time ballplayer” he said. “I should have been tackled like 10 times on that play. That’s when you see a guy is really a ballplayer. You can’t coach stuff like that.”
Here’s a lasting image of Henderson’s official: He’s out. Real late. His player host, D’Wan Mathis, is leading him around the most expensive nightclub in Athens.
That was the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic facility.
“We went to the indoor at like 3 a.m. and he was throwing me routes,” Henderson said. “Had cleats on and everything. All strapped up.”
That’s another thing about Henderson that screams potential. He doesn’t believe in rankings or stars.
“I’m at the field every day,” he said. “Every chance I get. I trust my preparation and I don’t believe the hype. I believe in my preparation and I know me. That way I know I’m going to do what I have to do when the challenges come.”
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