Lake Braddock junior quarterback Caleb Henderson continues to weigh his scholarship offers, a list that is likely to grow soon based on discussions that various coaches have had with Henderson and his father, Eric, in recent weeks.
Eric Henderson, who handles the bulk of the recruiting to save his son the distraction, divides the conversations and correspondence into roughly three categories — firm offers, schools that are actively recruiting Henderson but have not yet extended offers and another group that is more loosely involved in pursuing him.
Among the other schools showing interest are Ohio State, whose campus Henderson plans to visit in March. The Hendersons also plan to see Miami and Tennessee soon and North Carolina again. They planned to meet with Virginia Coach Mike London again this week.
Purdue would like Henderson to visit campus. Wisconsin has weighed in. Rutgers, West Virginia, Pitt, Tennessee and Penn State have dropped by Lake Braddock frequently. The Hendersons met with Maryland Coach Randy Edsall last week and have been to North Carolina and Duke. They plan to go to Wake Forest. Arizona made contact Tuesday, and Florida State is involved as well.
“I think it will start to shake out as we get into May when the recruiters are able to get back in the schools again,” said Eric Henderson, dean of students at Lake Braddock and the football team’s defensive coordinator.
The elder Henderson has found that many of the claims of scholarship offers that recruits make on social media are not true offers at all based on what he is hearing from the college coaches. So, not surprisingly, there can be a lot of misinformation disseminated by the recruits and others close to them.
“Contrary to what a lot of kids put out, there have not been a lot of 2014 quarterback offers made,” Eric Henderson said. “Really, the quarterback is the face of the program. You don’t want to make a mistake there.
“We’ve heard some very positive things, like, ‘We consider him No. 1 on our board, but we’d like him to come to spring practice or sit down with the head coach.’ You’ve got to build some familiarity with the programs before you really get that offer that you want.”
The 6-foot-3 (close to 6-4), 226-pound Henderson transferred to Lake Braddock last spring from West Potomac, where his father had been head coach. In his first season with the Bruins, Caleb Henderson completed 210 of 327 passes for 2,435 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and also ran 103 times for 453 yards and nine scores.
He and his father throw from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. in the Lake Braddock gym three days a week to keep Caleb’s mechanics sharp. Some college coaches have watched those sessions.
Caleb Henderson also has altered his eating habits, shunning most sweets and his beloved Arnold Palmers (iced tea and lemonade) in favor of more grilled meats, brown rice, roasted vegetables and salad for his six small meals per day.
Henderson plans to attend tryout camps for the Elite 11 Quarterback Competition, a five-day event at which 11 of the top quarterbacks in the country gather in Southern California. He’ll also be involved in passing leagues locally.
So a lot is happening as the recruiting process churns on for the player that Rivals.com ranks 65th overall for the Class of 2014, and fifth at quarterback, not including those who might be listed as “athletes.”
“I think he likes meeting new coaches and he’s flattered by all the attention, but there are days he’s just like, ‘Can we just get this done? Let’s call somebody and make it happen now,’” Eric Henderson said. “But my role is to hold on and make sure we’re right about this and make sure it’s a good fit.”