Gorman: Quips' Henry, Lebo's Bookser make ESPN list
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Dravon Henry turned an afternoon nap into a deep sleep that lasted into late Friday night.
When the Aliquippa junior defensive back finally awoke, it was to good news.
Henry was one of two WPIAL players named to ESPN's first national ranking of the top 150 players in the Class of 2014.
“My phone kept buzzing while I was asleep,” said Henry, who is ranked 127th. “When I woke up, people were tweeting me, and I saw all these mentions about the ESPN150. It was like all my dreams had come true.”
The other Western Pennsylvania prospect picked for the ESPN list is Mt. Lebanon lineman Alex Bookser. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive tackle and defensive end is ranked No. 140.
Mt. Lebanon coach Mike Melnyk said Bookser received scholarship offers from Penn State and Southern Cal in the past week to go along with Alabama and Florida State.
“He's had offers from coast to coast,” Melnyk said. “It's interesting because some guys like him on the offensive side of the ball and some guys like him on the defensive side.
“He's got huge upside. People are really high on him and justifiably so.”
If there's a surprise to the ESPN list, it's that Henry and Bookser are not just the only WPIAL players picked but the lone two from the entire state.
The Class of 2013 wasn't nearly as deep but had six ESPN150 players from the state and three from the WPIAL: Central Valley receiver Robert Foster and linemen Dorian Johnson of Belle Vernon and Patrick Kugler of North Allegheny.
ESPN's first list left off notables such as Washington tailback Shai McKenzie, Bethel Park offensive tackle Michael Grimm, Gateway defensive backs Anthony Davis and Montae Nicholson and quarterbacks Chandler Kincade of Blackhawk and J.J. Cosentino of Central Catholic.
At least it wasn't sleeping on Henry, even if he was napping.
The 6-foot, 185-pounder who stars at tailback for the Quips but projects to play cornerback or safety has narrowed his choices to Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State and West Virginia.
“Those are the four I like, but you never know,” Henry said. “There's a few schools that started to show me more love, so it could change.”
The only other thing that could change is Henry's potential rise up the ESPN150 list this fall.
“That wasn't a goal, just something that comes with it,” Henry said. “To see my name on that list after the last three years, it seems like my hard work is starting to pay off.”
Even more than he dreamed.
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
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