Today's featured player is one of our most electrifying guys on the team, and also one of my favorites. Henry showed that he is a great leader and athlete in his lone season as a starter. Now he returns after suffering a season ending ACL tear with a lot of promise, but at the same time uncertainty where he will play. There have been rumors of quarterback, runningback, and maybe even wide receiver. Personally, I think his talents are best suited to be our starter at quarterback instead of Caleb TerBush or Robert Marve. He is a good dual-threat at QB and is also an impact player who is respected by his teammates.
Rob Henry - Jr.
Hometown: Ocala, FL (Trinity Catholic)
6'2" 200 pounds
2012 projection: reserve at quarterback
Rob Henry made his debute at quarterback two years ago after an injury to Marve. Henry came in and wowed Boilermakers with his speed. The kid is lightening fast and fun to watch. In 2010, he was given the Leonard Wilson Award for unselfishness and dedication, which he definitely showed as we had rough season where we finished with a record of 4-8.
Henry threw for 996 yards and 8 touchdowns while rushing for 547 and 4 touchdowns in 11 games. Although the record doesn't show it, Henry was a solid quarterback. He had some great games and almost some big victories, but unfortunately we just weren't as well equipped at that point. One of my favorite Henry memories was when he almost brought us back to win at Michigan State. I remember freakng out as he started torching the MSU defense through the air and on the ground and started to bring life back to the team. Henry also had a solid game at IU, minus the OT pick, where he threw for 252 yards and 3 touchdowns as well as rushing for 28 yards.
Henry looked set in stone to be last year's starter, but he sadly tore his ACL the week before our season opener and was forced to sit out the whole year. Before we was hurt, Rob was voted co-captain for the season by the team after the spring game. While he was injured, Rob also ran for student government president with teammate Ishmael Aristide.
Now Rob is healthy and is ready to compete for the starting quarterback job. Although he is incredibly athletic and could definitely play a few positions, Henry has voiced that he is a quarterback first, and that's what he wants to be. But he has also said that he is willing to play wherever the coaching staff puts him.
I love what Henry can do for this team as a quarterback. Sure, he had an OK season as a starter. But he was thrown in there with little experience to a team that was hurting on offense; yet he still made the most of it. I believe that if you run the right offense around Henry he could be an extremely efficient quarterback.
If Henry gets the nod to start, and we actually stick with him, I think we should seriously consider running the option offense. I realize that's not the norm for Big Ten football, but how fun would that be to watch? We would be an electrifying team with a solid dual-threat QB. Obviously the running back position is a little up in the air, but I think with Akeem Shavers we would have a pretty solid offense for the option. Shoot, you could even throw in Danny Anthrop in there with the speed he has.
Rob is a leader both on and off the field and is liked by his teammates of by students. It will be interesting to see where he ends up this year. Even if he doesn't get the opportunity to play QB, he will do whatever he needs to contribute to the team and will do it without complaining.