Frankfort (IL) Lincoln-Way East wide receiver A.J. Henning publicly committed to Michigan on Wednesday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State, among others.
Henning is 5’10” and 183 lbs. He has run a 10.6 in the 100 meters. He claims a 4.46 forty, a 4.08 shuttle, and a 37″ vertical.
ESPN: 4-star, 84 grade, #17 WR, #105 overall
Rivals: 4-star, 5.9 grade, #3 APB, #84 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 93 grade, #26 WR, 127 overall
Hit the jump for more.
Michigan has been hard after Henning since April of 2018. For a long time, it seemed like he was Notre Dame-bound. But the longer his recruitment drew out without a commitment to the Fighting Irish, it seemed like that was a good thing for Michigan. When 2021 quarterback J.J. McCarthy committed to Michigan, that pushed the needle further in the Wolverines’ direction, since the two are friends; their schools are approximately 40 minutes apart. Henning has taken several visits to Ann Arbor, and the official visit this past weekend sealed the deal.
I’m coming home…— AJ H3nning (@AJHenning3) June 26, 2019
100% C O M M I T T E D ✍? pic.twitter.com/WTPUKbmyOQ
A month ago I made the comparison of Henning to Jeremy Gallon over on MGoBlog (LINK), and it seems like a lot of people have latched on to that comparison since then. The unique thing about Gallon was that, despite his lack of size (5’7″, 185 at the NFL Combine), he won all kinds of jump ball and physical battles. Henning is listed as an all-purpose back by Rivals, and even though I don’t think he’ll play any running back (other than maybe lining up in the backfield on occasion to mess with the defense), he plays like a running back. He plays with good body lean (like Gallon) and can break tackles (like Gallon) and can gain extra yards after contact (like Gallon). You also see Henning do a great job of catching the ball in traffic (like Gallon) and high-pointing the ball (like Gallon).
Henning is not blazingly fast (neither was Gallon) on the football field, and the fear for some might be that a player listed at 5’9″ will get bested by taller defensive backs (such was the fear about Gallon).
Overall, I don’t know if Henning will have a 1,300-yard season like Gallon did, because Gallon was a star wide receiver on a team that didn’t have many other true wide receiver options (Drew Dileo was #2 among wide receivers with 16 catches in 2014). Henning will join a team in 2020 that could potentially still have Nico Collins, Tarik Black, and Donovan Peoples-Jones, though it’s unlikely that all three will return next year. Regardless, Henning should be a very good piece of the puzzle in the wide receiver room.
Michigan now has seventeen commitments in the 2020 class. Michigan currently has three straight #1 prospects from the State of Illinois signed/committed (Trevor Keegan in 2019, Henning in 2020, McCarthy in 2021). Henning would be the first football player to come to Michigan from Lincoln-Way East.
TTB Rating: 89 (ratings explanation)
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