Gorman: Will Aliquippa's Pitt pipeline end with Henry?
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Dravon Henry made his college choice, then flew to Florida to escape any chance of someone convincing him to change his mind.
Where some speculated that it was for a last-minute official visit to Miami — one of his five finalists, along with Louisville, Maryland, Pitt and West Virginia — Henry's father, Roland, assured me that it wasn't.
“If Miami would have followed through like they should have,” Roland Henry said, “he would be going to Miami, no doubt.”
Instead, the recruitment of the Aliquippa four-star defensive back, regarded as the top prospect in the state by ESPN.com, is believed to be a Backyard Brawl between Pitt and West Virginia.
Which, given his school's history, should favor the Panthers.
Aliquippa has a proud pipeline of sending players to Pitt, from Mike Ditka to Sean Gilbert to Darrelle Revis to Jon Baldwin.
That all four were NFL first-round selections only reinforces the perpetuation of how prominent that pipeline really is.
Yet Roland Henry made it clear that his son, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound cornerback/safety, will go to the school best fit for him and that none of his Quips' predecessors who played at Pitt influenced Dravon's decision.
“Darrelle hasn't steered him toward one school,” Roland Henry said of Revis, whose stepfather is a relative of Henry's. “He's looking at what is the best situation for him in terms of style, scheme and coaching.”
Roland Henry debunked another popular theory: That Dravon's friendship with Rushel Shell, who left Pitt for West Virginia, poisoned the well. Instead, the freshman success of Tyler Boyd probably cancels out Shell.
“When (Shell) speaks of Pitt, he takes full responsibility for what he did,” Henry said. “He had nothing bad to say about Pitt. ‘Dra' looks at Tyler the same way as Rushel, that they've been through it so you can ask them.”
Where West Virginia ace recruiter and secondary coach Tony Gibson has been all over Henry from the start, Pitt was only the sixth school to offer Henry a scholarship.
ESPN recruiting analyst Jared Shanker believes the Mountaineers are the favorite for Henry.
Henry already is breaking from one school tradition by holding a news conference Monday at the Aliquippa Municipal Building.
“He made it clear he's not afraid to break that trend of Aliquippa players going to Pittsburgh,” Shanker said Friday on TribLIVE Radio. “He understands that there is pressure to go there, but I don't think that weighs on him as much it has in the past with other players. He's OK with going his own route.”
Even if it's Interstate 79 South.
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Interest high for Heinz Field soccer match
- Polamalu enters training camp as Steelers’ longest tenured player
- NFL notebook: Broncos owner Bowlen has Alzheimer’s, steps down
- Late afternoon fire destroys Manor home
- S&P 500 reaches new heights
- Starkey: Pirates, Burnett could work again
- Fayette woman dies in fall from ATV on National Pike
- 3 identified in Route 66 crash near Delmont
- Penguins assistant Martin gets new job title
- VA settles three more Legionnaires’ cases
- Philly Nazi suspect dies as extradition request OK’d