Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2012 Season Countdown: #85 Willie Henry

Willie Henry
Name: Willie Henry
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 270 lbs.
High school: Cleveland (OH) Glenville
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #69
Last year: Henry was in high school.

Final TTB Rating: 76

Henry was a very late addition to the 2012 recruiting class.  Michigan was looking for another interior defensive lineman to pair with nose tackle Ondre Pipkins, they tossed out an offer to Henry, and he was committed within 24 hours.  He was a little bit of a late bloomer because of the other talented guys at Glenville, but the athletic ability is apparent on his highlight film.  It all comes down to how willing he is to accept coaching and how quickly he can add bulk.

At only 270-ish pounds, it's unlikely that Henry will get a chance to play this season.  The Michigan coaching staff wants their defensive ends to be 270 lbs., and Henry is a tackle.  He will likely take at least a year to add the necessary strength and bulk, and then he will likely still be behind Jibreel Black at the 3-tech defensive tackle position, perhaps getting some time in the rotation.  By his redshirt sophomore year in 2014, he should be in pretty good shape to compete for a starting position.

Prediction: Redshirt


  1. At 6'2, do you think Henry has the size to play the 3-tech or does he need to add 40-50 lbs and back up Pipkins eventually?

    It seems more likely that there will be a logjam at 3-tech, while the depth chart going forward seems frail to thin at the space-eater position. Does Henry have the growth potential to fill it?

    1. Yeah, I think he'll be fine for the 3-tech. Jibreel Black is playing the 3-tech, and he's only 6'2". I think Poggi could play the NT position in 3-4 years, Pipkins is there, and Hurst is going to play some NT, too. However, I don't think Henry is going to play NT. He's a little on the lean side, and he's more of an athletic guy than someone to hold the point of attack.

  2. I was wondering where Henry would play, there didn't seem to be much info on him because he committed so late. While I like the DTs this year, I really hope the coaches can get a great NT for next year since that position still seems pretty thin. Everyone raves about Pipkins, but I don't want all our eggs in one basket with him. Going by history with Rivals 5 stars, there is only a 50% chance he gets drafted. Seems to be a down year for big NTs anyway this year.

  3. Well, Black is listed at 260, even less than Henry. This is a year where you may see some lighter-than-desired players in the DL rotation.

    I think there's a lot of overlap potentially between NT and 3-Tech. Nearly every recruit we get is a NT/DT or DT/SDE or SDE/WDE, and many of the guys we already have are moving around.

    Campbell and Pipkins and Black, I'm assuming, are going to play but there's going to be opportunity for others. I'm not that confident that Campbell and Black will both handle their position switches smoothly. Like all the other freshman DL, Henry might play if he comes in physically prepared and gets up to speed on technique quickly. Red-shirt does seem the most likely, but DL is a position where freshman regularly contribute.

    1. To see playing time, Henry would have to pass up Washington, Ash, Heitzman, Wilkins, Brink, etc. We're almost certainly going to be playing one true freshman (Pipkins). The chances that we play two are pretty slim.

    2. Agree with you about Pipkins, but I don't see why 2 freshman couldn't or wouldn't play. In fact, I expect at least 2 to play this year. None of the guys you listed are proven players. It's not like the frosh have to beat out Martin, Van Bergen, and Heininger. I don't know WHO it will be (best guess: Pipkins and Wormley), but last year both Beyer and Clark played as freshman and very few people expected either of them to contribute.

    3. I think four of six freshman DL play this year. The staff is not satisfied with the DL back-ups at all. Pipkins plays for sure. Pretty sure the coaches expect Ojemudia to play because they are low on good edge rushers. Also expect one of the 5-techs to play - they want someone other than Heitzman to gain experience to compete for Roh's spot in 2013. Not sure whether a 3-tech plays, but I think the coaches will be open to it. Ash and QWash are mediocre at best as DT back-ups. It's entirely possible that Wormley or Henry is outplaying those guys at some point this season. Guys like Wilkins and Brink will get passed by these guys very quickly.

  4. What a pleasure it is to look at our depth chart going forward and seeing big, quick athletes at almost every line position offense and defense stuck behind upperclassmen.