Sophomore K.J. Henry showed off his potential last Saturday in Clemson’s win over Syracuse, having a tackle, a half-sack, and a pass breakup against the Orange.
The defensive end out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina is excited to face some of his old high school opponents Saturday against Charlotte. The game is a little more personal for him.
Henry on being familiar with some of the Charlotte players
“Chris Reynolds, their starting quarterback, we played in the same conference together and he’s a great athlete. Obviously, there’s some guys from practice and what not, but definitely some guys. Chris comes to mind first and foremost, just literally playing him every year, and I’m excited to be on the same field as him.”
Henry on his redshirt year
“Mostly just coming into this and having my dad in my corner, I’ve learned a lot. Through this process, through this business, everyone has a different path. Having arguably the best defensive line ever sitting in front of me and teaching me different things off the field. I knew I had to get better if I was going to prepare for when they passed the torch down next year, so that was just really the mindset behind redshirting last year. I knew it was just for me and something I needed to do to grow and as far as this year I’m just trying to take every opportunity I can to help the team.”
Henry on having fun on the field
“I think it just comes with my teammates and the guys that I play with. It’s just a great group of guys all across the board and we just like playing for each other. I think coming in with XT [Xavier Thomas], it was something we talked about since our recruiting days, so just getting to play with him and the other guys. We just have fun making plays. Defensive-line wise, like I said, we had some great guys leave last year, so I think these first three games we’ve just been trying to show that it’s the next-man up mentality and that’s been fun to prove ourselves as well.”
Henry on improvements in quickness and skill
“I think it’s just doing my job. In the first two games, I was still just trying to make too many plays and do too much, but obviously when I started to play within the scheme from Coach [Brent] Venables and he’s going to set us up to be successful, so I think Saturday was just the first showing of me doing my job and playing within the scheme, and obviously it turned into some good things.”
Henry on relationship with Xavier Thomas and the D-line
“There’s definitely no bets on who’s going to get to the quarterback first because he’s much faster than I am, but we are always talking about it. We are always working with each other in practice and we have fun competing, that’s with all the guys on our segment. I think as you see up and down the board—[Justin] Foster, Logan [Rudolph], and [Justin] Mascoll too—they are just very athletic guys. Everybody brings something different to the table, but as a segment we are just trying to do our job and play winning football.”
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Fanatics. This is great news for Tiger fans as they have the officially licensed Clemson gear.
The Clemson Insider will get a portion of all sales so get ready for another championship season by ordering your Clemson gear today and help support TCI.