Talking with No. 30 junior Cam Henry about his process, it’s easily apparent that the final month of his recruitment was just one big ‘pinch me’ moment.
The 6-foot-4 defender for Thunder LB3 and Nation United received calls from one of the sport’s blue-bloods at 12:01 on September 1st. Then again at 12:07.
From there, Henry woke up to texts and e-mails from coaches, going through the school day with his phone away but seeing more contact in between classes when he was able to set up times to ring them back. By the time the day ended, he had received love from well over a dozen schools.
The Georgia native was able to narrow things down, he says, making visits with the top dogs throughout September. This came after last fall and spring, where only three or four schools were serious. The rule change came and things went dormant, he says, though there was still contact with Navy, who like the other service academies, can reach out to rising juniors on July 1st.
“August rolled around and my club coach Liam Banks let me know that I was gonna get quite a few calls on September 1st,” said Henry in a phone interview from boarding school at McCallie in Tennesee. “Once it happened, it was an amazing experience – I kept thinking ‘why me?’ – it was pretty surreal.”
After a few visits, the rangy and athletic ended up pulling the trigger on Duke back on October 2nd. The Blue Devils got his first visit, and clearly his best, arriving on Friday and leaving on Sunday. Henry pointed out loving the vibe he got from the team, along with the academic side and the gothic architecture on campus that Duke is famous for.
“With Duke, I feel like I get the best of everything,” continued Henry. “I could name a thousand things that I loved at Duke that I didn’t necessarily see at other places. After the visit, I remember my mom asked me to think of all the pros and cons and I named so many pro’s but really couldn’t think of anything wrong with what they had to offer.”
In all likelihood, the Blue Devils’ coaching staff probably had trouble finding any drawbacks regarding Henry’s character or skill set. It wouldn’t be bold to say that the rangy athlete has as much upside as any other 2019 out there.
There’s a reason that most college coaches mentioned him first when I conducted calls with them leading up to September 1st.
When I spoke to a dozen or so college coaches gauging some of the juniors on their list in advance of September 1st, nearly all of them mentioned Henry’s name within the first minute, going on to drool about his athletic ability, length and overall potential.
He can shadow standout offensive weapons up top, from the wings and sometimes behind the cage, moving to close defense for Troy Kemp’s McCallie squad this spring. However, he likely projects at LSM at the next level, though so much can change in a few years. It’s easy to love Henry’s clean stickwork and ability off the wings of face-offs, allowing him to thrive on groundball play and in transition. He has an arsenal of checks along with an excellent motor, and coaches who have worked with him have lauded his work ethic and coachability.
After all, Henry told frequent RR contributor Matt Chandik that he takes 600 wall ball reps (300 with either hand) every day, from an extensive intro on Henry following the SweetLax Invitational.
Chandik was one of the first to rant and rave about the then-uncommitted standout from the Invitational along with Adrenaline’s Platinum Cup and Black Card, which Henry felt was his best event of the summer.
He’ll matriculate into Duke with a class that has four 5-star recruits (all in the Top 10 overall) along with four 4-star recruits in the Top 100. Defensively, Henry will team up with top-ranked close defenseman Kenny Brower of Long Island, who is one of four Team 91 standouts headed to Duke. There’s plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball, and the Devils are expected to at least add a goalie and face-off man in this class.
Henry points out that competing with such a highly touted group played into his decision. Who wouldn’t want to team up with some of the best players in the country?
“It was definitely a factor in terms of wanting to play with this 2019 squad,” Henry says. “This is the type of squad that you want to win a national championship with and I feel that’s something we could work towards together.”