Make it 11 of the top 12 prospects in the state of Illinois’ 2018 class now off the board after Glenbard North defensive back Tyrik Henderson announced his commitment Wednesday night. The No. 4 ranked player in the state is headed to Minneapolis to continue his college career.
Offers had come in for Henderson from four of the Power Five conferences, but Iowa and Minnesota had emerged as the two strongest contenders over the last month, with schools like Indiana, Missouri, Boston College and Purdue in the mix but not as strong. Proximity to home emerged as one of the key factors for Henderson down the stretch, and Minnesota met that criteria. When it comes down to it, though, Henderson’s comments show the vibe on campus under P.J. Fleck’s leadership are what sold him on the Gophers.
IN HIS WORDS
“I chose Minnesota because they have shown me and my family that what they are trying to build is bigger than football, it's bigger than just us becoming men and they have stressed that throughout the visit. When I went they have showed me what they have to offer and I loved every moment of it my mom said she would have committed that day for me.
“The culture that Coach Fleck is bringing to Minnesota is something that fits me as a player and as a young man growing up in this world. Coach Fleck will not only teach me the game but he and his staff will teach me the way of (life) and how to succeed the right way. I know it's a little ways away from home but we have more than enough close family in Minnesota and my parents still wouldn't miss a beat when coming up for games. Minnesota is on the rise and I'm not missing this Boat, it's my time to hop on and get for Rowing. Ski-U-Mah.”
The first impression Henderson made on us was during the offseason of his sophomore year. A Rivals Camp appearance in Kansas City was one of those performances, and what was particularly impressive was the way he was able to stay in receivers’ hip pockets throughout their routes. At 6-foot he has great length for the position and does not sacrifice anything from a fluidity or speed standpoint. The defensive back roster in Minneapolis has been depleted by transfers recently, and a guy like Henderson who can consistently be counted on to lock up receivers is a much-needed addition.