It's good to be a five-star recruit. The Minnesota product was flown to New York by the CBS College Sports Network to announce his choice. But that pales in comparison to the treatment his suitors gave him.
The highly sought-after left tackle was the subject of a Times story today, and the most eye-opening parts were the recruiting trips he made to Miami and Minnesota:
That night, Seantrel Henderson was taken to a Miami club, where he met the former Miami stars Willis McGahee and Bryant McKinnie. The next day, McKinnie was kicked off the National Football Conference Pro Bowl team after two unexcused absences from practice. On Saturday he went to a South Beach nightclub, where he met Baltimore Ravens free safety Ed Reed, another former Miami player.
After returning to Minneapolis on Sunday, Henderson and his family took one last unofficial visit to Minnesota, which is about a 10-minute drive from his father's house. Inside the club area at T.C.F. Bank Stadium, the Gophers had an aisle set up for him to walk down with 10 poster boards on each side showing different displays. One of them showed a group of children wearing No. 77 Minnesota jerseys, Henderson's high school number, and holding up a sign that read, "We love you, Seantrel."
Upon Henderson's arrival, the coaches and their wives applauded. The Gophers had 77 index cards on tables and each one had a different reason he should attend Minnesota. But the biggest attention grabber was a life-size cardboard cutout of Henderson in a Gophers uniform.
All that fawning went for naught, as Henderson eventually decided on USC. But don't shake Lane Kiffin's hand just yet; Henderson is awaiting the outcome of an NCAA probe before he signs anything.