Asked why he likes Clemson, Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth five-star defensive end K.J. Henry mentioned his relationships with five-star commitments Xavier Thomas and Trevor Lawrence as one of the reasons.
“X, one of my good friends, is committed there. Trevor is a good friend of mine as well,” Henry told The Clemson Insider at The Opening Regional in Charlotte on Sunday. “They just got good people going to a good school. That’s always a working agreement.”
The top two overall prospects in the 2018 class, Lawrence and Thomas are working to help the Tigers add more elite pieces to what could be a historically good signing class. So, they have let Henry know they would love for him to join them.
Henry said they are going about recruiting him the right way and not putting any pressure on him.
“They’re doing it the right way,” Henry said. “You definitely don’t want to press anybody where it gets annoying, but you definitely want to hint at it, and I think they’re doing it just the right amount.
Henry has built a bond with his fellow defensive end Thomas, in particular.
“Him being in the same position, we see each other a lot more,” Henry said. “He’s just throwing them hints in there every once in a while, but I love it. That’s my dude, so it’s all good.”
Henry, who said he hears from Thomas at least once a week, feels he has a lot in common with him.
“He’s a really down-to-earth type of guy aside from him being a great defensive end. He really respects his family and what he’s trying to do for his city, and that’s the same thing I’m trying to do for mine,” Henry said. “I think we have the same goals, and I think that’s what I like about him most.
“And he’s a hard worker. He deserves everything he’s gotten so far. I think he’s natural, he’s raw, and that’s what I like about him.”
The pitch from Thomas to Henry is simple — they could form a dynamic duo on the edges of Clemson’s defensive line in the future.
“That’s definitely the pitch now, is us having a race to the quarterback,” Henry said. “That’s a good thought.”
Henry named Clemson one of his top 10 schools last month, along with Alabama, Charlotte, Georgia, Louisville, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Henry’s lone scheduled visit as of now is a trip to Penn State, the only school in his top group he hasn’t yet seen. He plans to trim his list down to five schools this summer and take official visits to those schools before committing during his senior season. He will sign in December and enroll early in January.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder is ranked as a consensus top-10 defensive end and top-75 overall prospect in the 2018 class.