10! 10! We're actually in the top ten, you guys! And the player is Traveon Henry who is important and good, as every player remaining is. Apologies to Zack Oliver, who may play QB for Northwestern one day and may just get passed over by Matt Alviti and Clayton Thorson.
Anyway: Traveon Henry! The season is so close I can feel it. I've also gotten some good news about things I'm going to be allowed to do during college football season, so, basically, I... I don't even know how you'd describe my emotions. Aroused?
Traveon is from Pine Crest High School in Ft. Lauderdale, which is a tiny private school where Brandon Knight and this kid in my fraternity and some Jews went. Henry did it all, first-team all-state in football and basketball -- I think he played a year after Knight -- and played both running back and safety. He was damn good at both: 74 rushes for 542 yards, which is a healthy YPC, and five picks, three pass breakups, and a blocked field goal. His first varsity game, he scored three rushing touchdowns, a receiving touchdowns, and ran back a kick. Dude was an athlete!This video focuses on his defense and kicking and wrecking people's shop
Here he is in basketball back in 2010, if you want to feel stupid about the fact that he plays football for Northwestern:
You're telling me you'd rather have Sobo?
Anyway, I digress. Henry faced positionality issues because he was either a running back or a safety. 247's composite ranks him as the No. 71 athlete, but Scout had him as the No. 43 running back and Rivals as the No. 33 safety. (ESPN had him as a two-star RB, which is dumb.) But that didn't stop some big offers from coming in. The big one is Florida State. If you get someone over Florida State, you're doing things right. But Duke was in his final three, and also in the mix were Illinois, Vandy, Georgia Tech, Maryland, BC, and a few more. He chose Northwestern October of his senior year.
At NorthwesternWith a weakness at safety, Henry was set to see playing time immediately. Well, not immediately -- he hurt his ankle before the season-opener at Syracuse -- but from there on out, he replaced Davion Fleming in a backup safety role. His stats weren't crazy -- 23 tackles and a PBU -- but it seemed more often than not that a guy making a physically impressive play was Henry.
Career highlightI'm gonna go with the two plays described in this Teddy G. article from his first game: an opening kickoff where he got knocked down but made the play, and a later kickoff where he drilled BC's Spiffy Evans.
Anagram of choice
Discovering the Wildcats' true inner selves through spellingTraveon Henry, anagrammed, is
HORNY VETERANMan, he was such a promising youngster last year.
Relevant musical selection"Bottoms Up," Trey Songz ft. Nicki Minaj
This is normally the song I sing in reference to Tre Demps, but Henry posted his highlights to YouTube as "Tray," so, here goes.
Trey Songz is ridiculous for many reasons. a) CMAAAAAN is the worst ad-lib ever b) "Très songz" is French for "very songz" c) Mr. Stealyogirl is THE WORST NICKNAME EVER WHY WOULD ANYBODY BE FRIENDS WITH YOU.
I also don't like his songs.
How he can helpI think Henry and Jimmy Hall make a very solid tandem opposite Ibraheim Campbell, better than anything provided by Jared Carpenter last year. I think Campbell is Northwestern's best safety valve, Henry's hitting -- which he is very good at -- makes him a perfect fit for playing a bit closer to the line. And Henry's an ideal fit at the nickelback. It should be noted that Northwestern does appear to just go left/right, but it also seems like Henry's typically the guy playing up. And that works. Dude's got speed and menace in his game, and I like it.
Depth chart projectionWe have him as the projected starter, although that is a battle between him and Jimmy Hall.
More from Sippin' On Purple:
- Northwestern depth chart: Geoff Mogus, Ian Park, Paul Jorgensen playing with the ones
- Tuesday sips, ft. KAIN COLTER HEISMAN ODDS! WOOO, Camp Kenosha scrimmage, And more.
- Pierre Youngblood-Ary, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 11
- Northwestern football this week in tweets
- So Northwestern decided Ryan Field needed a tarp.
- Northwestern recruit Matt Fitzpatrick wins US Amateur