Most recruiting services have written off the Iowa Hawkeyes as a possible choice for the nation's top prospect, offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson.
Henderson, a five-star prep out of Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minnesota), has drawn interest from many schools, including Iowa. Lately, however, talk of the 6-foot-8, 300-pound monster landing in Iowa City has been difficult to come by.
The Hawkeyes are no longer considered in the running for Henderson according to ESPN.com and Rivals.com . Both sites agree that Henderson is leaning towards Florida, Miami, Ohio State, Notre Dame and USC—not Iowa. Rivals even lists Iowa as one of the many colleges Henderson no longer holds any interest in.
Yet there is still hope for the Hawkeyes according to one recruiting website—Scout.com.
Rob Howe of Scout and HawkeyeInsider.com reported yesterday that Henderson is, in fact, still interested in the Hawkeyes.
So, why have the discrepancy between Scout and the other websites? Well, perhaps Henderson has simply done an excellent job of keeping his decision-making process hushed—a difficult feat nowadays.
Is it accurate to say nobody really knows which schools Henderson is leaning towards?
Henderson's top five according to ESPN and Rivals —Florida, Miami, Ohio State, Notre Dame and USC—are the schools Henderson chose to visit. That doesn't necessarily mean Henderson has narrowed his list to a top five of those schools.
Iowa and Minnesota are two schools Scout still claims Henderson has medium interest in—along with the top five schools from the other websites.
Does Scout know something the other recruiting services do not?
Henderson may not have visited either school but a viable reason for that could be the two schools are close to Henderson's home. He may have had a better feel for Iowa and Minnesota than those universities that are further away.
It should be noted that Henderson attended a camp at Minnesota and traveled to Iowa City to watch the Hawkeyes shut out the Gophers on Nov. 21 during an unofficial visit.
Either way, taking an official visit could be a sign that Henderson has his favorites—for the time being—but it doesn't rule out other schools.
It is widely agreed upon by many recruiting experts that Henderson enjoys the Midwest. This, along with proximity to home, may be a reason Iowa is still in the mix.
However, Henderson has also stated that he enjoys metropolitan campuses—a disadvantage the Hawkeyes will have to work around.
During his visit of Ohio State, Henderson said he enjoyed the similarities Columbus shared with Minneapolis/St. Paul. According to ESPN.com, Henderson said Columbus also had a very "Midwestern feel."
Iowa has plenty of that to offer, Seantrel.
A new development that could evolve into quite the bargaining chip for the Hawkeyes is the early departure of Bryan Bulaga.
The Hawkeyes have always been known for "growing" offensive lineman into top NFL prospects. With Henderson's size, he's already on a fast track to the NFL.
Iowa will also field a very young offensive line in 2010—with or without Henderson. Henderson's chances of landing a starting job right off the bat are undeniably high with the majority of the Hawkeyes' line from this year throwing their hats in for the NFL Draft.
However, with Riley Reiff and Julian Vandervelde among the most experienced returning linemen, Henderson would by no means be a one-man show.
When was the last time the Iowa Hawkeyes fielded a weak offensive line? It's been a while. Iowa's line coaches are excellent when it comes to developing NFL-caliber athletes.
Seantrel Henderson, should he choose the Hawkeyes, could become yet another high-end, first-round pick to come out of the University of Iowa.
Heck, should Henderson put his career in the hands of the Hawkeye coaching staff, he could even top Robert Gallery's No. 2 overall pick back in 2004.
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