Fri Jul 09 03:17pm EDT
College football fans are understandably skeptical when it comes to anything related to the recruitment of Seantrel Henderson. The massively hyped Minnesota offensive linemen finally committed to USC in February but didn't sign, finally signed with USC in March but didn't show up for freshman orientation, and finally got out of his commitment to the Trojans earlier this week. He doesn't come across as the most decisive fellow.
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But the New York Times has it on good authority from the Henderson clan Friday that Henderson is bound for Miami this fall, as expected. And the 'U' logo on Henderson's Facebook page says this time it is his final decision.
The 6-8, 335-pound behemoth instantly becomes the jewel of the 'Canes' incoming class, which only featured one other player, five-star Ohio cornerback Latwan Anderson, ranked among Rivals' top 100 overall. Henderson expects to arrive on Aug. 3, and will be eligible immediately under the unusually generous terms of his release from USC. Usually it would include a mandatory season on the bench. He has a chance to see the field immediately, too, on a rebuilding line that lost both of last year's starting tackles.
If it ends there, the Song of Seantrel Henderson will still go down as the most melodramatic recruiting saga of the characteristically angsty Internet age. Most of the credit for his winding narrative goes to the heavy-handed NCAA sanctions against USC handed down last month. The prospect of those sanctions understandably delayed Henderson's signing in February. Those cautious instincts turned out to be equal to the ones that eventually convinced him to believe coach Lane Kiffin's assurances that the Trojans weren't going to be hit hard for the scandal surrounding former star Reggie Bush, and that Henderson had no reason to worry.
We may know at some point whether it was the sanctions themselves or the broken promise that pushed Henderson away from USC, but for now, Kiffin's loss is Randy Shannon's gain. (Unless Seantrel turns out to be a genuine flake, a la another former Kiffin recruiting coup, Bryce Brown. In which case, nobody wins, except the bloggers.)
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.