Henderson’s QB Spot Up for Grabs
HENDERSON -- Henderson enters the football season without a proven quarterback for the first time since 2007 after Del Barnes and Tyrell Jenkins occupied the spot for almost the last half-decade.
Jenkins is now a highly regarded pitching prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system, and Barnes, who owns virtually every Henderson passing record, will be a freshman at Cornell this fall. That leaves the Henderson quarterbacking duties to a trio of prospects: senior Jansen Moore (6-1, 180) , junior Connor Dotson (5-9, 165), and sophomore Zane Boles (6-5, 198).
"It's kind of hard to tell," said Henderson coach Dickey Meeks of who's leading the race. "These first four days are more for conditioning because the test will come when the contact starts. That's going to be the determining factor. I think all three have their good points. Managing the offense is what we're looking for."
Henderson looks good everywhere else. The offensive line, anchored by Air Force commit Nick Siler (6-4, 255), is strong despite the graduation of Henderson State signee Anthony Brister. Defensively, the Lions welcome back senior tackle Contrell Phillips (6-0, 235), who returns after missing Henderson's final 13 games in 2011 with a serious knee injury.
Phillips' return allows Meeks to move all-state defensive lineman Bo Brady (6-0, 200) to end, a position that will more suit his speed and motor off the edge. Brady recorded 17 sacks and forced seven fumbles in 2011.
"It's probably the most depth we've had (on the line), defensively for sure, offensively it's pretty good," Meeks said. "You've got to see how (Phillips) comes back with that knee, but so far everything has looked really good. I think (moving Brady outside to end) gives us a better pass rush."
Jamaal Kind returns at middle linebacker after a huge junior season that saw him record 130 tackles. Arquez Walton will join him as an experienced defender at that spot as the Lions cope with the loss of two-year starter Stephen Reese, who is walking on at SFA.
And you can't forget about Patrick "Monster" Brown, the receiver/safety/return man extraordinaire who's garnering college attention. He scored 21 touchdowns five different ways in 2011 and will take an even larger role as a senior.
The 34-player 2013 class gives Meeks a lot of options when penciling in his starting lineups.
"When you've got as big a senior class as we do, so many of them have played that it makes a lot of that easier to figure out," Meeks said.
Henderson travels to Paris for an Aug. 17 scrimmage (7:30 p.m.) before hosting Lindale on Aug. 24 (7:30). Plano Prestonwood Christian visits Henderson in an Aug. 31 season opener.