Monsignor Donovan offensive lineman Brad Henson is amongst a talented crop of senior trench grapplers spread throughout the Garden State.
His peers include Metuchen’s Dorian Miller, the Penn State-bound Brendan Mahon of Randolph and Bloomfield’s own Marcelous Lazard who is headed to West Virginia University.
On Wednesday, the Ocean County denizen joined the ranks of his Division I-caliber contemporaries with a verbal commitment to the University Of Virginia.
A four-year starter for Monsignor Donovan, Henson was originally at guard before he eventually anchored the line at center. Henson’s versatility and athleticism made the 6-foot-5 290 pounder a truly special talent, according to his coach, Monsignor Donovan head football coach Dan Duddy.
“What made Brad so unique is that we were able to pull him as a center, much like he used to do for us at guard,” Duddy said. “He is way ahead of his time physically and mentally and evidence of that is how none of the recruiters found him to be a project in any dimension.”
As well as the Cavaliers, Henson was also being pursued by UNC, Miami, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Rutgers, among others, but Duddy could tell the decision has already been made when his lineman returned from the Charlottesville-based school.
“Brad was very appreciative of all the offers he got,” prefaced Duddy, “and I believe visited everyone except Wisconsin. I believe the big factor that led to his decision was that Virginia is a classy organization as well as a terrific academic institution. I can see Brad was interested in Virginia, that it was a meaningful trip, when he came back, but he was very open minded and still wanted to explore all of his options.”
Duddy went to discuss his pride in Henson, how the lineman handled himself throughout the process, and in Monsignor Donovan.
“I believe Brad’s success says an awful lot about a school that flies under the radar,” said Duddy. “99.9 percent of our kids are college eligible, which is a great testimony to academic and guidance staff. But I’m also very proud of our football staff to have a kid coming out who’s known for his fundamentals.”
“Brad is helping this program turn the corner,” he said. “He’s gotten his piers excited about football and this program and what lies beyond high school. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Brad is the poster child of Monsignor Donovan football.”