Henry looking to make the most of his opportunity at UVA

Ra’Shaun Henry
Ra’Shaun Henry. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Ra’Shaun Henry was blunt in his assessment of the 2016 high school football recruit Ra’Shaun Henry.

“I had zero stars coming out of high school,” said Henry, a native of Killeen, Texas.

Checks out. I found a Rivals.com recruiting page for Henry.

Zero stars. Zero total school interests.

“Just very underrated,” said Henry, of Henry. “I was smaller. I was way small. Probably about six foot, 150. And St. Francis took that opportunity on me.”

St. Francis, in FCS, isn’t even upper-echelon FCS. In his four years at the school, the Red Flash were a middling 22-24, with one playoff appearance, in 2016, Henry’s redshirt year.

Henry, to his credit, made the most of the opportunity that St. Francis took on him.

Some of it was out of his control – he grew three inches, and at 6’3”, he’s obviously a bigger target against cornerbacks usually four or five inches shorter.

He also worked his butt off in the weight room, fleshing out to 195.

After a pair of quiet seasons in 2017 and 2018 – 11 catches and eight catches, respectively – Henry broke out in 2019, hauling in 90 passes, for 1,118 yards and nine touchdowns.

At this point, the zero-star, zero-interest prep recruit was a prospect on the grad transfer market.

He signed with Virginia on May 12, and after a late spring and early summer getting to know teammates and coaches via Zoom, he’s been impressing in camp.

“He’s definitely got a skill set of catching the ball and knack for making plays,” wide receivers coach Marques Hagans said. “Now the main thing with him is just getting him accustomed to our culture, how we do things, and my expectations and standards within the receiver room.”

The depth chart for the ‘Hoos at wideout heading into 2020 includes rising senior Terrell Jana (73 catches, 878 yards, 3 TDs in 2019), rising juniors Billy Kemp (35 catches, 289 yards, 1 TD), Tavares Kelly (14 catches, 152 yards, 1 TD) and rising sophomore Dontayvion Wicks (3 catches, 61 yards, 1 TD).

The ‘Hoos will have to account for the production from 2020 graduates Joe Reed (77 catches, 769 yards, 7 TDs in 2019) and Hasise Dubois (75 catches, 1,062 yards, 6 TDs).

In other words, there’s opportunity there.

Ra’Shaun Henry has a knack for making the most of opportunities.

“It’s a surreal time right now, especially through the pandemic,” Henry said. “But, you know, finding the school that really fits you, and you know, you can go there, and to be able to call those people, that culture, your family, is always important.”

Story by Chris Graham

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