The Latest On Seantrel Henderson

The recruitment of the nations top player, Seantrel Henderson, continues to spark debate across the land. Although Henderson made a public commitment to USC last week, he did not sign a letter of intent with the Trojans, preferring to await an NCAA ruling on their investigation into the program. Bill Greene gets the latest in this exclusive interview with Henderson's father, Sean.

Although the nation's top player Seantrel Henderson, made a commitment to USC on National Signing Day, he still has not signed a letter of intent with the Trojans.

Henderson, from St. Paul (MN) Cretin-Derham Hall, is hoping to find out the results of an NCAA investigation into the Trojan program, before signing his letter.

Henderson's father, Sean, discussed exactly where things stand with his son's recruitment, and several other topics with Scout.com.

"Seantrel did not sign with USC, but that's clearly the school he wants to go to," Sean Henderson said of his son's decision. "He wants to wait and see exactly what happens with the NCAA investigation before he signs, and he's prepared to wait until April 1st, to see if we will know anything definite."

"He wants to be as fully informed as possible, as to what he's getting himself into, before he signs anything," he continued. "We are well aware that we might not find out anything by that date, but we want to exercise what little option we do have, to be as intelligent about this choice as we can be."

"I'm not sure a lot of people are aware that National Signing Day isn't the last day a player can sign his letter, rather it's the first day a player can sign," he explained. "Seantrel wants to be fully aware of everything he can be, so he can make a sound decision."

Henderson discussed what options his son has if they do receive the NCAA's findings before April 1st.

"If everything is fine with USC, and the NCAA doesn't totally decimate the program, Seantrel will sign with USC, because that's where he wants to be," the elder Henderson stated. "If they get dealt with harshly by the NCAA, that is another matter entirely. Seantrel is not dragging this out for attention, and he's certainly not looking for publicity. You've met both of us, and I believe you can see Seantrel is not a publicity hound at all. I know people are criticizing me for how long this is taking, and I'm fine with that. Any father would rather see himself be criticized, rather than his son, if he loves his son."

Assuming the worst possible outcome happens to USC, Henderson stressed that they would open up recruiting totally, but there would be no need for additional visits to the schools, or by the coaches to their home.

"The thing people need to understand is that Seantrel was close to each school he considered, and he could have been extremely happy at any of these schools," he said of his son's choices. "It was very close between all of these programs, and Seantrel chose USC, but it wasn't a slam dunk at all. These schools need to know that I would have been happy to see Seantrel choose any one of them. If the worst possible happens to USC, he will look at all of his options. If he does have to choose another school, it's not like they should feel they are the second choice. It just so happened that he had to pick one, and USC was it. If he has to find another school, he will pick the one he feels most comfortable with, and today, I couldn't tell you who that might be."

"He would tell you that he loved all of his visits," Sean Henderson explained. "He loved all the coaches, and he made great friends with players at every school. He still talks with players at almost every school that recruited him. The recruiting experience was great for him, from start to finish. He's a kid that hates to tell anyone "No", so this was not easy for him. I tried to be the point person as far as the media was concerned, to allow him to concentrate on finding the right school, and there's no other reason for that. We could have shut the media out, but I felt that would have been wrong on our part. You people have jobs to do, and I felt I owed all of you the respect you deserve. At the same time, Seantrel could only pick one school, so we learned people at the other schools will be mad and disappointed."

"It's sad because every one of the six schools he was considering are unbelievable programs in their own way, and I think the world of all of them, just like Seantrel does," he stressed. "Florida has a chance to continue on as a dynasty, with the way they are recruiting. Ohio State, under Jim Tressel, is THE dominant program in the Midwest, and that won't be changing any time soon. Notre Dame affords Seantrel the opportunity to get a great education, at a school rich in football tradition. Miami and USC are private institutions, where class sizes are ideal for Seantrel. Minnesota gives Seantrel the opportunity to stay in-state, and help try to make them a football powerhouse. Every single school is a place where he could be extremely happy. Any of these schools would be a great choice for any kid, not just Seantrel."

Even though Henderson made USC his public choice on National Signing Day, he is still receiving mail from two of the schools he did not select last Wednesday.

"We have only heard from two schools since last Wednesday," he said. "We have received e-mail correspondence from Miami and Ohio State. They are making it known that they still have interest, and they are keeping us aware that they are still recruiting Seantrel. We have not heard from Florida, Minnesota or Notre Dame, but that's not to say they still won't be in contact at some point."

Sean Henderson is well aware of the criticism he has received throughout his son's recruitment, and he welcomed the opportunity to set the record straight on several issues.

After exclaiming that no topic was off-limits, and stating he would answer every question, he took the time to address each item.

Greene: How would you respond to the allegations that you are using your son's eventual college choice to further your own music career?
Henderson: "I know that's being said. The absolute truth is that I have never contacted anyone, talked to anyone, or had a conversation about anything regarding me and music, and Seantrel's college choice. Not one time. I've never met, or talked to Snoop Dogg, or any other person involved in the rap music industry. I do not personally know any of these people I'm supposed to be involved with. I have never been approached by anyone, trying use a career as leverage, to get Seantrel to attend their school. That story is just plain false. I would never, ever compromise Seantrel's eligibility to further any career for myself."

Greene: There is also a school of thought that you are making the decision for Seantrel, and that he has no say where he will attend college.
Henderson: "That is 100% false, and this decision is solely up to Seantrel. If I were to force him to go to any certain school, don't you think he would fight that? You've seen us together, and observed the relationship we have. You can see he is not a kid living in fear, or under the thumb, of his father. He didn't tell me his school until we were in New York, and it was time for him to make the decision. Because I was dealing with all the media people right up to the time we went to New York, I did not want to know, for fear of giving it away. He had made his decision the night before his announcement, but he didn't tell me until the next day. I never, ever, tried to force him to one school, or the other. I would have been happy with any of the six schools, and still feel that way today."

Greene: What about the rumors that you have only recently become an involved member of Seantrel's life?
Henderson: "That is absolutely false, and anyone at Seantrel's school would tell you that. Seantrel would tell you that. I have been involved in Seantrel's life since the day he was born. There has never been a gap in our relationship, and I have never been away from him. I actually do wish someone would ask him that, and maybe I should have had him do more interviews, but I thought I was doing what was right as his dad. Again, I would rather have people criticize me, rather than my son."

Greene: How would you respond to the allegations that Seantrel doesn't see you very often, because of the distance between your residence, and Seantrel's home with his mother?
Henderson: "Now, that's a real easy one, because Seantrel made the decision in the seventh grade to come live with me, and he's lived with me ever since. He also spends a lot of time with his mother and grandmother, and we all make sure of that. He and I have gotten closer and closer over the years, and going through this recruiting process together has been a great experience. I don't think a lot of people realize we live under the same roof, and have for a long time."

The Henderson recruitment is a long way from being over, and Scout.com will continue to update the situation, as circumstances warrant, over the coming weeks.

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