“Practice has been kind of brutal,” JaMarius Henderson told Scout this week.
His recruitment, after a somehow quiet 2,000-yard, 100-tackle junior season, has not.
The Midland City (Ala.) Dale County running back and defensive back prospect, named a three-star by Scout this month, recently decommitted from UAB in order to take a closer look at several programs on his list. Beneficiaries, having already offered, could be Kentucky and Louisville, and possibly schools yet to pull the trigger like Alabama and LSU.
“My dad told me to handle my own business, so I called the (UAB) coaches and told them,” Henderson said. “No hard feelings to Coach [Bryant] Vincent or Coach [Jody] Wright, but that was it. It’s about the big picture, I thought about it and prayed about it and it came to me.”
Just hours after the news went public, the UCF Knights entered the picture for his services with a verbal offer.
“They’ve said I’ve had it, I just didn’t know about it,” he said. “They didn’t bring it up since they thought I was going to UAB.”
Now back on the market, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder is thinking not of his college destination at the moment, but of his teammates.
“I’m just being open, getting my name out there, and hopefully good things will come,” he said. “I have to wait, but I’m focusing on my team. We’re ranked highly in the state, but we have to block everything out and forget about the recruiting process right now.”
When the time comes to think of recruiting once more, perhaps when the season begins, Henderson is thinking about destinations in the SEC and ACC.
It’s likely he figures it out within the next month, too.
“I’m going to decide what college I’m going to after we play Charles Henderson (September 5), Week 3,” Henderson said. “They have (three-star linebacker) Richard McBryde, who just committed to Auburn, so I know there will be people watching that game. It’s the game some coaches told me they’ve been waiting for.
“If all goes well, I wouldn’t mind going to Baton Rouge, or upstate to T-town (Tuscaloosa), or maybe Kentucky, and Louisville is kind of in the picture. It all depends on how things get done. I hope my line blocks well and do their job, so nobody can stop us.”
Knowing a potential audition for the SEC West offers he covets could be what amounts to his first three games on tape, capped by the clash with Charles Henderson, the intensity with one of Alabama’s top two-way prospects has followed suit.
“It just makes me want to run more and work harder. We’ll see what happens after Week 3,” he said.
Henderson is currently tabbed as the nation’s No. 119 running back by Scout.