On Friday morning, TreVeyon Henderson took a connecting flight from Richmond, Virginia over to Washington D.C. for a layover before a flight from the nation’s capital took him to his future home in Columbus.
While walking through the D.C. airport, Henderson was taken aback by hearing a familiar voice:
Henderson turned to see who it was, and it turned into a nice surprise: Tyleik Williams, a fellow Virginian and a fellow commit in Ohio State’s 2021 class, was walking toward him.
Turns out, the two were on the exact same flight from D.C. to Columbus and had no idea until running into each other in the airport. Once overcoming that initial surprise, the pair were on their way to Ohio State for a fun-filled weekend at the Buckeye Bash.
There were three primary reasons for Henderson to visit for the Ohio State 2021 class’ commit-led recruiting weekend:
- No. 1: Get a feel for what Columbus is like on his first-ever visit to the city.
- No. 2: Continue creating a bond with his fellow commits as they gathered for the first time in-person.
- No. 3: Make an impression on Derrick Davis Jr., one of the top-four targets left on Ohio State’s board for the 2021 class.
We’ll get to those in a moment. But first, what’s obviously way more important than either of those agenda items was Henderson’s first-ever trip to Shake Shack.
“I mean, my mind is definitely made up now. I definitely wanna go to Ohio State. The city was all I wanted to see. It’s a great city, a beautiful city. My mind is definitely made up.”– TreVeyon Henderson on his first visit to Columbus
Henderson and Williams landed at John Glenn International around noon and hopped in a car with Jack Sawyer, who scooped them up and took them over to Easton Town Center, where they went to Shake Shack. That’s where the trip got off to a rocky start for Henderson, who made an awful decision (that’s him saying that and me saying that) by opting for spicy chicken nuggets instead of a burger – despite Sawyer pleading for Henderson to make the smart move and go for the latter.
“I didn’t like ‘em. They were too spicy for me. I should’ve got the burger like Jack was telling me,” Henderson told Eleven Warriors.
Shake Shack? Thumbs down from Henderson. The city of Columbus? Two thumbs way up…
After Evan Pryor got picked up from the airport by those three players, they all headed back to Sawyer’s house to play some pickup basketball before plans to head north for Ben Christman’s playoff game against Columbian were nixed by them 1) Not wanting to drive in the rain for two hours 2) Not wanting to be out in a rainstorm for an entire game.
But the rainfall didn’t dampen the rest of the weekend for them. (See what I did there?)
Once Saturday hit, that’s when the main event took place, with 10 commits* and Davis hopping in a party bus from Sawyer’s house in Pickerington over to High Street where they watched the Ohio State-Nebraska game at Buffalo Wild Wings – you know, the official sports bar of your favorite Ohio State media outlet, Eleven Warriors.
*Henderson, Sawyer, Pryor, Williams, Christman, Kyle McCord, Jayden Ballard, Jaylen Johnson, Sam Hart and Zen Michalski. (Denzel Burke was the other commit expected to be there, but he wound up being unable to make the trip.)
One of the highlights of the bus trip over? Finding out who was the best with the aux cord.
“We were all in there doing music suggestions trying to see who’s got the best music. We were in there having a great time,” Henderson said.
The players were listening to music from a group of rappers that includes Lil Baby, YoungBoy, JackBoy and Splurge – rappers whose music (in my I’m-definitely-a-professional opinion) ranges from really, really good to borderline unlistenable.
The question you obviously want an answer to is, who played the best music? Henderson admits it wasn’t him, but out of the other three, the power rankings were:
- Evan Pryor
- Jack Sawyer, “even though all his songs were all old,” Henderson says.
- Jaylen Johnson, whose music we’ll lightly say was not popular amongst the other 10 commits.
While at B-Dubs, the commit crew watched the Buckeyes pull away in the third quarter, and the 2021 group eventually left toward the end of the game to get back on the party bus, take a ride-around tour of The Shoe from the outside, the campus and High Street. That included a few minutes of walking up and down the streets over there, and for those who remember reading up on Zen Michalski’s Buckeye Donuts experience, you’ll be happy to know that some of the group walked over there to pick up some donuts to top off the massive amount of wings and burgers they ate at B-Dubs.
“I saw a lot of people walking up and down the streets there. It was cool,” Henderson said. “I guess that was the street that everybody goes on so later on when we were finally able to go on campus for a couple minutes, that’s where we went. There was a bunch of people down there.”
After that, it was back on the party bus back to Sawyer’s house to watch more college football (more on that momentarily).
Eventually, Henderson hitched a return flight back to Hopewell, Virginia at 8 a.m. Sunday – back to the grind of more weight training and speed work for the five-star running back and back to more school work for the 4.0 student.
Henderson had a strong feeling he would love the trip going into the weekend. But when it was all said and done, the entire Buckeye Bash experience and his first-ever visit to Columbus, the 99-percent chance that he was going to Ohio State ticked up to 100 percent.
“Yeah, man. It was great,” Henderson said. “What I saw was great. I mean, my mind is definitely made up now. I definitely wanna go to Ohio State. The city was all I wanted to see. It’s a great city, a beautiful city. My mind is definitely made up.”
Had a great time down Columbus, Ohio the CITY was !!!!— TreVeyon Henderson (@TreVeyonH4) October 25, 2020
And for a group of commits that was already extremely tight-knit just through social media and the well-documented group chat they have, the entire weekend built up those relationships even more.
“My favorite part about the trip was mainly just being with the guys,” Henderson said. “I mean, seeing them in person and talking to them in person, it was great. The bond we have is great. That was pretty much it for me was being able to hang with them.
“As soon as we saw each other, we were comfortable around each other. We were talking to each other like we had seen each other a few times in person. That was crazy how we just clicked like that as soon as we saw each other in person.”
Henderson feels “great” about Bucks’ shot with Davis
A while back, Henderson dubbed himself “La Chef Tre” for the mastery he’s starting to put together in the kitchen.
A well-rounded guy, Henderson has always been interested in cooking, and his mom taught him how to cook from a young age so he’d know how to cook for his future kids.
Noodles, fried chicken and grilled food – burgers, steaks, shrimp – she taught him how to cook, and he’s gotten pretty damn good at it, he admits. Better than his brothers, but still not quite up to par with his mom’s cooking.
Well, this weekend, Henderson and Co. were all doing some cooking of their own, working on firing up what they hope will be another massive commitment.
#BUCKEYEBASH pic.twitter.com/EXufiu53j3— Buckeye Edits (@BuckeyeEdits15) October 23, 2020
As alluded to, one of the other critical aspects of the Buckeye Bash was getting a chance for Davis to get around this group. The Pittsburgh safety, ranked No. 2 at the position nationally and No. 53 overall in the class, has been to Ohio State nearly a dozen times. But this was a big chance for a group of guys that has done a fantastic job of peer recruiting – Mark Pantoni said in April that it’s up there as one of the best group of commits to do so that he can remember – to do so once again.
The feeling coming out of the weekend is that it was a success and that Ohio State has itself in a prime position to pull Davis from Penn State, LSU and Georgia as we wind closer to a Nov. 7 commit date and the weekend before Davis is set to visit LSU.
“Derrick was with us, and he was having a great time too,” Henderson said. “I think we made a great impression on him, but we didn’t get to see the campus so I don’t know what that did. I don’t know if he went to see it himself.”
There was no pushing or prodding for Davis to commit. That’s not really their style on anybody they recruit.
“We were pretty much chilling on him. We weren’t trying to pressure him or anything,” Henderson said. “He’s a good dude. He was very interactive with us, all the commits, and he’s a great dude.
“The way he was talking, I feel like he was more of a city person. Columbus got a great city. I feel like the city fits him very well. Shoot, my confidence level is high, for real.”
After they left High Street, most of the group (including Davis) went back to Sawyer’s house to watch more of the games, with a five-TV setup in the living room and kitchen. The game they, of course, flipped on? Penn State vs. Indiana. There was no ribbing, however, not even of the good-natured kind.
“We watched the game, he saw how Ohio State played, and we watched the Indiana-Penn State game and he saw what Indiana did to them,” Henderson said. “That game pretty much spoke for itself. He just knew what’s up. He knew what was up as soon as he saw them take that L.”