Notre Dame Football Recruiting

High Praise For Hudson Henry From High School Coach

January 12, 2018
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Kevin Kelley wasn’t surprised to see Hunter Henry leave Pulaski Academy to enjoy great success at Arkansas and continue that into the NFL.

“It’s hard to say that because the percentages are so low, but I told Hunter and I told his parents, I thought he could play in the NFL and I thought he would,” Kelley said of the current Los Angeles Chargers standout tight end.

“I knew, not only his skillset and how talented he was, but I knew his work ethic and I knew what kind of kid he was. There are a lot of people not playing in the NFL who have the skillset to play, but they don’t have the work ethic, the right personality, the right drive and motivation and sense to accomplish that. There are a lot of people who have the drive, but not the talent.

“When you get a kid who does have both, I think those percentages that they’re going to make the NFL and be successful go way, way up and Hunter had exactly that.”

It’s still early, but Kelley sees a lot of similarities now that he’s coaching Henry’s younger brother, 2019 Arkansas tight end Hudson Henry‍.

“He’s a really, really big kid who can really, really catch the football as well as anybody,” Kelley said of the 6-foot-5, 225-pound junior.

“Hudson right now, has better ball skills than Hunter did at this age and that’s saying a lot. He’ll catch the ball in traffic, he runs well with the ball after he catches it and right now, I think he’s faster than Hunter was at this age.”

The younger Henry earned a scholarship offer from Notre Dame earlier this month and told Irish Sports Daily he fully intends to give the Irish a serious look and will be in South Bend for the Irish's Junior Day on Jan. 27th.

"Seeing the coaching staff and finally meeting face to face," Henry said of what he's looking forward to most about the visit. "FSeeing the facilities and the school and meeting some of the other recruits and current parents."

Henry also has scholarships from schools like Arkansas, LSU, Auburn, Penn State, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.

Kelley is friends with the Henrys’ father and credits him with offering insight into developing toughness, something that helped as Kelley’s embarked on a football career that would lead him to college.

“He told me when my son was in seventh grade, ‘We teach toughness in our family. The world’s a tough place, football is a tough place and we teach toughness,’” Kelley recalled.

“That’s one of the things they get out of football, but that’s one of the things they can take into football. I think their family is a tough family. They teach toughness and I think that’s carried over to those guys’ personalities and into their games.”

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