While the rest of us are sitting around binge-watching movies, Netflix shows and old games, TreVeyon Henderson hasn’t had much time or interest for that.
Instead, the Ohio State running back commit has been diving nose-first into the written word.
When he hasn’t been busy with his three-times-a-day workout load, Henderson has read several books over the past few months. On Tuesday afternoon, the five-star prospect’s latest page-turner was Grant Cardone’s “Be Obsessed or Be Average,” a motivational book recommended to him by Hopewell (Va.) High School athletic director and track and field coach Kerry Gray about how the self-made millionaire Cardone created a better life for himself.
“It teaches you to be your best and how to set your goals and achieve those goals of what you wanna do and what you wanna be like – don’t let anybody get in the way of that,” Henderson told Eleven Warriors.
Henderson is already a forward-thinking and motivated person – one who has worked his way into becoming the top dog among 2021 running backs, one who is continually putting in work to maintain that status and one who wants to win three national championships when he gets to Ohio State.
Those types of goals and the motivation to work for them are a couple traits that Henderson says the Buckeyes look for in their players.
“It’s hard to explain it but it’s essentially being elite and not being average,” said Henderson when asked what the coaching staff wants in its players. “That’s basically the message. Ohio State wants elite people that wanna be great. They don’t want average. They want people who wanna be great and who wanna be leaders and wanna show other people the way.”
That message from Ryan Day, Tony Alford and Co. falls perfectly in line with the message from Henderson’s latest reading expedition.
And a leader is precisely what Henderson’s become.
Ever since his commitment in March, the Virginia star almost instantly thrust himself into the upper echelon group with Jack Sawyer, Kyle McCord and Ben Christman as one of the top leaders of the Buckeyes’ 2021 recruiting class, making pitch after pitch to some of Ohio State’s top-tier remaining targets while building and maintaining relationships with many of them. That includes guys like Jordan Hancock, J.T. Tuimoloau, Emeka Egbuka and Derrick Davis Jr.
“I look at myself as a leader,” Henderson said. “I always talk about how great we can be and that there’s so much we can accomplish together. Because I feel like there’s so much we can accomplish, just with how tight and how close we are.”
Added McCord: “As soon as he committed, he dove in 100 percent, and he’s been recruiting everyone that we’ve been going after. It’s been great to have him on board since March. To have him on board is something that’s definitely helped us and given us momentum recruiting-wise.”
It’s not just that Henderson is a class leader. Of course the second-highest-ranked player of the entire 18-man group should be, the program would hope, one of the key faces and voices recruiting others.
It’s that he’s doing this without ever having been to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, breathed in the Shoe’s atmosphere, taken a tour around the Oval or walked the sidewalk up and down High Street.
It might be unique or out of the ordinary that he’s been such a strong advocate for Ohio State without ever having visited. But it might actually be giving the Buckeyes an extra pitch on the recruiting trail.
“Having TreVeyon committed without visiting is something we can almost use to our advantage,” McCord told Eleven Warriors. “If we can get a five-star running back to commit to us and be the second running back in the class, with Evan (Pryor) already being committed, I think that says a lot about the coaching staff and how confident one of the best players in America is.
“TreVeyon could’ve easily gone to a school he already visited, and he could’ve been the guy at that school – not that he won’t be the guy at Ohio State; he definitely will – as the only running back they took in that class. But for him to commit without ever visiting us, says a lot about TreVeyon as a person.”
McCord’s last words there are where we can dig further into why and how Henderson has been at the forefront of the Buckeyes’ recruits-recruiting-recruits effort.
Henderson has been playing football since he was 6 years old. He’s rushed for more than 20 touchdowns and 1,000-plus yards every year since he started playing, he says, and that on-field production has brought with it almost an obligation to lead.
But that hasn’t been an issue for him.
“I’ve always been a leader, to be honest,” Henderson said. “Not just in this class but on my team, also. In nearly everything I do, I’ve always been a leader. I always think about what I feel is right since I was younger, since I’ve been playing football.”
“As soon as he committed, he dove in 100 percent, and he’s been recruiting everyone that we’ve been going after. It’s been great to have him on board since March.”– kyle mccord on fellow ohio state commit treveyon henderson
Day and director of player personnel Mark Pantoni don’t have to tell Henderson or any other commit to go out and recruit another player. It just happens organically.
“When Coach Day checks on you, he’ll ask, ‘How does such-and-such feel about us?’” Henderson said. “And then I’ll tell him, ‘I think we’ve got a great chance of landing him.’ He’ll just tell me to stay on him and things like that. … We mainly hit them up ourselves. Nobody has to tell us.”
As it stands today, their efforts have helped the Buckeyes piece together the country’s top-ranked class with six months to go before the early signing period. There’s still a lot of work left to do, but they remain the frontrunner to sign the program’s first No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the composite ranking era.
The recruits don’t care about winning that championship, though. They’ve got their sights on getting the right players into the class to help them win actual titles at Ohio State.
“We’re not really looking forward to having the No. 1 class,” Henderson said. “We just want people who are gonna be part of something special and who wanna help us win games. People who just wanna come be great at The Ohio State University.”
TreVeyon Henderson photo: Andrew Ivins/247Sports