October 31, 2013

Onsite with Caleb Henderson

There is no doubt about it that 2014 UNC commit Caleb Henderson is not only one of the top players in the state of Virginia, but one of the top players in the nation, especially at the quarterback position, as Henderson has led his Lake Braddock team to an 8-0 start of the season.

Last week, Tar Heel Illustrated made the trip up to Alexandria, VA, as the Bruins took on T.C. Williams and future teammates in Malik Carney and Jeremiah Clarke in what was supposed to be a tough battle for both.

That isn't the way it turned out for T.C. Williams, as Henderson and Lake Braddock made easy work last Saturday, winning 44-0 behind a great game from Henderson and the Bruins defense. Henderson threw for 182 yards in that game and rushed for 120 yards, getting into the endzone twice.

After watching Henderson, one comes away with the thought that Henderson just looks like a true quarterback, a quarterback that has the mechanics and tools to make it in the next level and to be in contention for playing time when he arrives at Chapel Hill.

He has the arm to make all the throws, whether it is a short pass or long one, while making all the right decisions on offense, not hurting his team when he is on the field. Henderson really impressed though with his running ability Friday night, as mentioned before, running for 120 yards, against a defense that has limited several teams offensively throughout the season.

"I think I've gotten a lot faster and that's definitely improved my game," Henderson told Tar Heel Illustrated earlier this month. "I'm doing a lot better in the running game and not just the passing game now."

That is exactly what he did Saturday against T.C. Williams, showing all of his athletic ability on the field. After, THI was able to catch up with the young quarterback from Virginia, as he updated us on his season, what the UNC staff has been talking to him about, and when he might be able to make it back to Chapel Hill.

After the great win, here is what Henderson had to say about his team so far this year and what it was like to face against Carney and Clarke, as they will become teammates when moving to Chapel Hill.
"We are having a great season so far," Henderson said. "My lineman is playing great, my offense is playing great and my defense is playing great. In five games, not one team has scored on us, so we're getting a lot of help from our defense."

"They're both are really, really good players (talking about Carney and Clarke) that both hit me a couple of times. I'm really excited to play with them next year."

Henderson has been impressed with the recruiting class coming in, as he was able to get to know a few more of his fellow teammates a few weeks ago when he visited East Carolina. However, he has been keeping in contact with mostly the Virginia boys, such has Carney, Clarke, and Marvin Stewart.

"I talk to M.J (Stewart) a lot and pretty much the Virginia kids," Henderson said.

As one has can see, Larry Fedora and staff like to have mobile quarterbacks, as they have used Bryn Renner and Marquise Williams to switch up the tempo this season, keeping the defenses on their toes.

Henderson can provide that when he arrives in Chapel Hill and the Tar Heels will a great mixture of athletic quarterbacks in their back pocket next season in Williams and Mitch Trubisky, along with Henderson.

Coach Blake Anderson has been making sure to keep in touch with the young man, as these two frequently talk to each other throughout the week and not always about football.

"No, nothing like that," when asked if the coaches have talked to him about his mechanics or what he needs to work on throughout the season. "Me and coach (Blake) Anderson call each other; he can call only once a week, so I call him the other six days. We just talk about how are week is going and what the other defenses are playing."

Clearly, the relationship played a part in Henderson's decision in choosing North Carolina, but he couldn't hide his true feelings about the school and how comfortable he was at North Carolina.

"Just the fact that I'm really comfortable with the coaches and I really love the school itself; it's just the right place for me," Henderson said when asked what made him choose UNC.

Henderson was able to get a look at the Tar Heels earlier this season, when UNC took on East Carolina, when the Tar Heels failed to put a win in their pocket. He hopes to make it back to Chapel Hill soon this season, hopefully with a different outcome.

"I think I'm going to try to come down for the Duke game, depending how the schedule works out."

Henderson will look to continue their magical season and stay undefeated, as they face off with South County this Friday night. It certainly has been a special one so far and he has the chance to end his high school career in a special way.

No matter what though, when Henderson comes into town at Chapel Hill, Fedora and company will certainly have a quarterback battle to look at, with several young guns to lead the future.

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