Let’s do this.
That’s right. A verbal. A real verbal for the football team. It’s been a while. Yes, I’m sure there will be a slew of more to follow after the camp in a week or so. Who’s panicking? I’m not panicking! No! I’m not shouting! There’s just some other noise in the background that caused me to raise my voice! Geez!
Pitt offered Hallandale (FL) cornerback Malik Henderson last Wednesday. It took him less than a week to hop on the offer and commit to the Panthers.
“I wanted to be close by (secondary) coach (Troy) Douglas),” Henderson first told 247Sports.com Wednesday afternoon. “He’s a great coach. The Pittsburgh Steelers are my favorite NFL team so I can be close by them, too. I believe coach (Paul) Chryst is bringing back the program there.”
Panthers assistant coach Inoke Breckterfield recruited the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder cornerback for Pitt. Douglas provided an assistant.
“I have a good relationship with those guys,” Henderson said. “When I found out coach Douglas was on the staff there it made me want to go there. He had a great defense when coached at South Florida. He’s made an impact everywhere he’s been.”
The nation’s No. 104 cornerback, a three-star recruit, runs a 4.51-second 40-yard dash and holds a 3.6 GPA.
He likes the Steelers and the whole shared facility thing was a positive for him.
Despite not visiting yet, Henderson likes a lot of what he has seen from Pitt so far.
“What caught my eye at first was when I saw that they share facilities with the Pittsburgh Steelers; they were my favorite team as a kid,” he said. “Then I did further research and saw that the [defensive backs] coach was Coach Douglas, and he’s a heck of a coach. He knows what he’s doing and I know that if I get coached by him, I can be success. And I think I’ll have a chance to go in and play early. Plus they were one of the first to show interest, and that was a big factor for me.”
The next step for Henderson, 6’1″ 180, is to get on campus so he can see the school he committed to.
“They want me to come up to visit and I plan to go up June 20,” he said. “I’m excited to get up there for a visit. I know the town is full of great people who care about football and the players they get. And I’m looking forward to meeting the coaches and seeing how they are as coaches and seeing how they embrace me. And I want to see Heinz Field and the facilities and see how the school is.”
As for the starring of Henderosn. 247 has him as 3-stars. Rivals.com says 2. Scout.com and ESPN.com do not have him rated at this time. At 6-1, he has the size that makes him very attractive as a cornerback. Corner is one of the few areas on defense where it doesn’t appear to be an immediate need, so Henderson will get a chance to be developed.
Just kind of relieved to get out of the recruiting doldrums at this point.