Seantrel Henderson, who was regarded as the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2010, reportedly wants out of his letter of intent to USC after the Trojans were penalized earlier this month by the NCAA. One problem: USC doesn't want to release the manchild offensive lineman.
Larry Brown Sports reports that Trojan coaches made a second trip to Minneapolis this week to put pressure on the former Cretin-Derham Hall standout to honor his letter of intent. The trip comes a week after coach Lane Kiffin, recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, offensive line coach James Cregg and assistant Monte Kiffin flew to Minneapolis following Henderson's failure to show for orientation at USC.
It's unclear what promises USC's staff had made to Henderson during the recruiting process, but if Kiffin's recruitment of running back Bryce Brown a year earlier is any indication, Henderson probably has reason to question the Trojans' sales pitch.
Brown was regarded as the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2009 when Kiffin and Co. were coaching at Tennessee and they eventually secured the player after a long courtship. Now we know why.
David Climer of the Tennessean writes that although Kiffin knew Brown wasn't talented enough to unseat senior Montario Hardesty as the No. 1 tailback without risking player rebellion, he inserted Brown as the No. 2 tailback entering fall drills, a spot that should have gone to Tauren Poole.
With Kiffin and a guarantee of playing time gone, Brown sat out drills this past spring and his standing with the Volunteers remains in question.
As for Henderson, much of his recruitment was chronicled by St. Paul-based freelance photographer Vincent Muzik. A video posted to Muzik's YouTube account (below) shows the player's visit last fall to Ohio State.
Former Buckeye Cris Carter is shown chatting with Henderson before Ohio State's game against USC. Carter's son was a member of the Buckeyes at the time, and Carter puts on the sales pitch by telling the player that he will have a chance to play immediately and the school will develop him "off the field."
If Ohio State president Gordon Gee's fawning over Henderson isn't embarrassing enough, coach Jim Tressel allowing himself to be videotaped recruiting Henderson is questionable at best.
Nonethless, don't be surprised to see Henderson bound for Columbus if he is freed from his letter of intent to USC.