Kevonte Henry, Wolverine

Kevonte Henry, Wolverine

June 25, 2021
Kevonte Henry (image via Twitter)

Lawndale (CA) Leuzinger outside linebacker/defensive end Kevonte Henry committed to Michigan on Friday afternoon. He picked the Wolverines over Arizona, Oregon, and USC, among others.

Henry is listed at 6’4″ and 225 lbs.

Rivals: 3-star WDE, 5.6 grade
247 Sports: 3-star, 88 grade, #60 LB

Hit the jump for more.

Henry was offered by Michigan in late April. When official visit opportunities opened up at the beginning of June, Henry’s first official was slated for Ann Arbor that initial weekend. He obviously had a good time that weekend, and word coming out of it was that the Wolverines were on top. Fast forward a few weeks, and he felt comfortable committing to wearing the maize and blue.

Henry’s height, weight, and playing style suggest he will be playing an edge role in college. His rankings are all over the place, with 247 Sports saying he will be an off-the-ball linebacker (huh?) and Rivals saying he’s a weakside end (plausible). Henry has a bit of an odd body type where it looks like he has short legs and a long upper body, similar to but more pronounced than Taco Charlton (who also happened to walk somewhat bowlegged).

Body type aside, Henry plays with a welcome reckless abandon that sees arms and legs flying everywhere. Doubling as a running back on offense, he’s the type who barely hits the ground after a touchdown before he’s flailing in an attempt to get up and celebrate. He plays the same way on defense. I find those guys exceptionally difficult to play against, because they move in such a unique way that it’s hard to predict what move they’re setting up. Henry’s solid speed, low center of gravity, and ability to bend make him tough to block coming off the edge.

I see two particular areas for improvement, and those are 1) upper body strength and 2) focus. As for the first point, there are times where he wraps up ball carriers but doesn’t seem to possess the strength to yank them down. As for the second, he sometimes seems to lose gap responsibility, though he has the athleticism to make up for it in high school.

Overall, Henry was reportedly a top target of the staff as an edge player, and I think he has the skills to be an effective player at the next level. It might seem unorthodox at times, but he can get the job done. I’ve been waiting for defensive coordinator (and former Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach) Mike Macdonald to find his Matthew Judon, and I think Henry might be that guy. If Michigan can give him a couple years in the weight room and get him up to 250+ pounds, then I think good things will happen.

This is Michigan’s fourth commitment of the week, joining California QB Jayden Denegal, South Carolina RB C.J. Stokes, and in-state LB Aaron Alexander. Henry would be the first player to come to Michigan from Leuzinger. His high school coach is former NFL tight end Brandon Manumaleuna.

TTB Rating: 82

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