Archive for November, 2009

27
Nov
09

FOX 9 Feature on Seantrel Henderson

Terrific profile on Seantrel Henderson by Fox 9 News. Fox 9 was kind enough to use some of my still photography of Seantrel that I have shot of him over the past two seasons. And they gave me credit as well. Stay tuned for more Seantrel. It’s still two months away from national signing day!

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25
Nov
09

Everybody’s Number One: Seantrel Visits to Ohio State

Seantrel Henderson, Tom Lemming and rivals.com’s No. 1 high school football prospect in the country from Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn., takes you through his recruiting trip to Ohio State, including his sit down discussion with Head Coach Jim Tressel.

What impressed me most about Seantrel’s visit was that the president of Ohio State, E. Gordon Gee, was at the game and made a point to introduce himself to him: “Seantrel Henderson, I know everything about you…” Memo to football recruits: If the president of the university you are visiting bothers to be there to introduce himself to you, they take football seriously! Another thing was the avuncular demeanor ( i.e., like an uncle) of Coach Jim Tressel. He seems like a cool guy, one you would like coaching your son. Can’t wait to meet him the next time he’s in the Twin Cities.

24
Nov
09

Congrats, Joe Mauer — and thanks for proving me right!

Joe Mauer, Elizabethton, Tenn., Aug. 9, 2001

Congratulations to Joe for being named, in practically unanimous fashion (27 out of 28 votes), the American League MVP. And it did my heart good to hear sports columnists-turned radio talk show hosts Dan Barreiro and Pat Ruesse actually admit this week they were wrong in their appraisal of Joe. When the Twins selected him No. 1 overall in the MLB Draft in June of 2001, Barreiro and Ruesse along with others were vocal critics of the Twins. Part of their thinking was that the Twins already had a veteran team and that adding a ready-to-go pitching ace like Mark Prior from USC would put them into contention for bigger things. The other part of their criticism was that Mauer was simply going to come a lot cheaper to sign for a smaller market team like the Twins than Prior, who’s three years older than Joe.

Did these guys bother to watch him play in high school? I’ll tell you what did it for me — watching Cretin-Derham Hall’s (CDH) game versus Brainerd in the state baseball semi-finals at Midway Stadium. I got to the game in the fourth inning, I believe. CDH is losing, 4-1. Joe had just been selected by the Twins in the draft and the place was full of TV cameras. Talk about pressure. Joe comes up tp the plate and hits a three-run homer. Game tied. Then his coach, Jim O’Neill, put Joe on the mound to pitch in relief. (Yes, I have a photo of him.) The radar gun was operating that day and Joe’s pitches were clocked at 92 mph. He struck out eight or nine guys and CDH won, 5-4. CDH went onto win the state tournament. Walking away that day made me think I’d just seen a John Elway-Michael Jordan-type performance: One guy went out there and took control of a championship-level game.

Since I don’t have my own radio show, the best verification I have is my friend Sue Ann Robak. She was working as a TV sports reporter in Lacrosse, Wis., at the time. I called her right before the Fourth of July that year and during the course of the conversation said, “You’ve heard of that guy Joe Mauer, the catcher the Minnesota Twins just selected in the draft… he’s going to be great.” Ask her.

PHOTO GALLERY: Joe Mauer Through the Years

22
Nov
09

Iowa: The Unofficial Visit

Seantrel Henderson takes in the Minnesota-Iowa football game last Saturday in Iowa City along with his teammates James McGuire and Mark Alt.

As my friend from the University of Iowa Athletic Department told me, Seantrel Henderson, the No. 1 high school football recruit in the country, was the talk of the press box before last Saturday’s Minnesota-Iowa game. The conversation went something like this: “Gee, isn’t he big?”  Judging by the number of Brainerd High School players staring across the field before their game against Cretin-Derham Hall (CDH) the night before — which CDH won — being the biggest thing going has its advantages.

18
Nov
09

Seantrel Henderson profiled on Fox 9 this Sun., Nov. 22, at 9 p.m.

Fox 9 in the Twin Cities will profile Cretin-Derham Hall’s Seantrel Henderson on the “Fox Nine News at 9” newscast this Sunday evening. Producer Julie Michaels spent time arranging interviews in order get a glimpse of the guy who has been on the radar of every college football recruiter in America since he was a sophomore in high school. “What we tried to do is get behind the scenes and find out what it’s like to be so  in demand,” Michaels said. “I think what I took away from meeting Seantrel and talking to other people about him is how humble he seems to be. He’s a big guy with a big heart, big smile and just a really nice guy. And he surrounded by a family that’s very excited about his success!”

Michaels and cameraman Ron Johnson spent an evening at an impromptu family gathering over at his dad’s place. Grandmas, grandpa, girlfriend — everyone close to ‘Trel was there. Trish Van Pilsum is the reporter on the story. This piece promises to be an interesting sketch of the person behind the football player.

16
Nov
09

goldy ain’t too proud to beg!

Seantrel Henderson (second from left) along with his dad, Sean (furthest left), get a personal appeal from Goldy Gopher at the Minnesota – South Dakota State football game last Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers won, 16-13, but were repeated visits throughout the season by Seantrel, the Cretin-Derham Hall star offensive lineman who’s rivals.com’s No. 1 high school football prospect in the country, enough to sway him to go to Minnesota?

Getting noticed by people is something Seantrel has had to adjust to. In a recent interview with me, Seantrel admitted his amazement at how technology played a part in being recognized by the fans on his recruiting trip to Ohio State in September: “It’s funny how technology works because everybody already knew who I am and who the other recruits were. So everybody was just screaming everybody’s name… screaming my name saying, ‘Come to Ohio State’… things like that. I didn’t know that everybody knew me like that. That kind of hit me a little bit.”

Seantrel has a few more visits left. This weekend he’s scheduled to take an unofficial trip to Iowa City to see the Iowa – Minnesota contest. Official visits include trips to USC on Dec. 5 and Florida Dec. 12. Good time to enjoy nice weather, Seantrel. Oklahoma was on his in his final five (Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC) plus one (Minnesota), but trip date has been set yet.