So yesterday, Pitt got back on the recruiting board with the commitment of Malik Henderson. Been a while since their last commit when Kevin Givens chose the Panthers more than 3 1/2 months ago.
As Jim said yesterday, Henderson is a lower-ranked recruit from Florida. Three of the four major recruiting sites rated him as a two-star recruit or as unrated. The advantage to getting back into Florida has been well discussed here, though, and the combination of that and the fact that he had an Arkansas offer as well should at least ease some concerns.
That Arkansas offer was the only other significant one in my book. Indiana? Eh. Varsity Preps also mentions, though, that Henderson heard from Florida, Louisville, and Tennessee. And that's encouraging:
Henderson told Varsity Preps he’s receiving interest from Tennessee currently.
"I’m getting multiple letters from them, giving me updates on how the team is doing. The letters also gives me information on the staff and the program."
He’s also heard from Louisville, Arkansas, Florida, and FIU. Just yesterday, he received an in-school visit from the South Florida staff.
There's really no telling where this kid could have ended up with a strong senior season. The other thing to keep in mind, though, is that should one of those other schools come calling ... you never know. Pitt, like any school, has lost early commits before they received bigger offers.
Henderson, though, seemed to indicate getting in early would be a big factor in where he went:
Programs that show interest early in the tall corner will have an edge come signing day in 2015.
"That will be important to me as I narrow my choices."
Back to that 'bigger offers' thing, I threw out. Keep in mind that Henderson is still going to be attending other camps in Florida. A good showing at those could indeed lead to more attention:
"I'm going to the FIU, Florida and Miami camps with my team. I'm not looking to find new offers, though, because I'm pretty content with my situation.
Okay, so there was the black and gold factor as well as the coaches, too, notes 24/7:
"I wanted to be close by (secondary) coach (Troy) Douglas)," Henderson first told 247Sports.com Wednesday afternoon. "He’s a great coach. The Pittsburgh Steelers are my favorite NFL team so I can be close by them, too. I believe coach (Paul) Chryst is bringing back the program there."
It also seemed that Douglas' connection from coaching in Florida had an impact, too.
"I have a good relationship with those guys," Henderson said. "When I found out coach Douglas was on the staff there it made me want to go there. He had a great defense when coached at South Florida. He’s made an impact everywhere he’s been."
All about relationships.
That 24/7 article, FWIW, also mentions that the site has him as the No. 180 overall recruit in Florida and that he will be in town on June 20th.
- Malik Henderson commits to Pitt
- 2014 NBA Draft: Talib Zanna Playing Well in NBA Workouts
- Jim on Rams Addiction Podcast to talk Aaron Donald
- Injured Pitt players progressing well, per Trib-Review
- Aaron Donald St. Louis Rams Rookie Photograph Gallery