As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. That was the case for Clemson in its recruitment of five-star K.J. Henry.
The Clemmons (N.C.) defensive end picked Clemson over Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia Tech on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.
“It was just the right fit for me,” Henry said during ESPNU’s live telecast of his signing ceremony. “Coach (Dabo) Swinney and his staff have been on point this entire recruiting process. Teams have been in and out. I’ve liked teams more, sometimes I’ve liked teams less. But they’ve just been consistent and been great with my family.”
Henry said Swinney was a major factor in his choice of Clemson.
“Ask my siblings, they love him,” Henry said. “My parents love him. He’s just a really down to earth guy, and I think it starts there. It’s got to be someone that I want to play for, and I definitely want to give my all for him.”
Clemson’s dominant defensive line played a big role in Henry’s decision, as well.
“It’s been a big impact, just being able to talk to all those defensive linemen,” he said. “They’ve definitely been very successful, and without them being able to mentor me and help guide me in this decision, I don’t know if this would have been the choice for me. Like I said, they’ve done very well and helped me a lot, so this had to be the pick.”
Henry’s decision made what was already a special day for the Tigers even better. Fairfield (Ohio) five-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman pledged to Clemson on Wednesday as well, as did Butler (Ga.) four-star running back Lyn-J Dixon.
Henry joins Carman, quarterback Trevor Lawrence and defensive end Xavier Thomas as Clemson’s committed five-star prospects in the 2018 class. The only program in the country with more five-stars at this point in the cycle is Georgia, which has six.
Henry is ranked as the No. 5 prospect nationally according to ESPN.