In what was nothing short of a small army visiting the Forty Acres over the weekend, Juan Henry Jr. was the lone Cibolo Steele Knight in attendance — the product of a state powerhouse that produces Division I talent year in and year out.
An underrated and underrecruited outside linebacker prospect, the current Texas Longhorns staff pursued Henry while at Houston last season. Although he’s a name the burnt orange nation may not be too familiar with yet, the 2018 talent assured Burnt Orange Nation that Texas is a name the nation needs to re-familiarize itself with.
“The University of Texas is definitely on the rise with the addition of a great coaching staff,” Henry told Burnt Orange Nation of his impression after the junior day visit. “I feel that the sincerity that they show towards the student athletes is real and heart felt, but most important, coach Herman seems to have a passion for living right before the creator of all, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Along with Herman, Henry was able to sit down at length with defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, who made note of how the versatile edge rusher could provide an impact in the Longhorns new 3-4 defense.
“I spent time with Coach Orlando and he discussed how he will use me in his defensive schemes,” Henry said. “In the 3-4 defense I would rush from the edge and drop back at times.”
Though he’s yet to add a Texas offer, that’s something that may be on the horizon if he can build upon his 66-tackle junior campaign — double his 2015 output — which included 16 tackles for loss and two sacks.
If that offer were to come, a handful of factors would contribute to Henry’s interest being so high.
“Extremely high,” Henry said of his interest in the Longhorns. “They are ranked in the top 10 in the country in business and the relationship I've developed with coach Orlando and Carrington since they were in Houston will play a big part with my decision.”
After a trip to the state championship game last season, in which Steele fell to DeSoto 38-29, the Knights return the majority of last season’s key contributors, including Henry and LSU safety commit Caden Sterns. As an impact player in a fairly dominant defense, expect to start hearing Henry’s name much more between now and National Signing Day 2018.