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Why TreVeyon Henderson, the nation's top high school running back and 4.0 student, is leaving Hopewell early

Posted at 1:14 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 10:08:13-04

HOPEWELL, Va. -- Three times a day, in triple-digit heat, you'll find TreVeyon Henderson -- the best high school running back in the nation -- working out by himself. Henderson is getting himself prepared for the next step in his journey.

In a record-setting junior year, Henderson led the Hopewell High School Blue Devils to a second state championship in three years.

He compiled over 4,000 yards and scored over 50 touchdowns. Four of those touchdowns came in last December's state title game. The game turned out to be his last game as a Blue Devil.

Henderson.jpeg

"I know it will hit me later on but right now, I don't really feel anything," Treveyon Henderson said. "I know my boys will pull through and get another ring for me."

Henderson's junior year earned him scholarship offers from over 40 schools, the biggest names in college football.

A parade of Power 5 coaches came through Hopewell coach Ricky Irby's office throughout the year. Each hoping to land one of the biggest recruits the Richmond area has ever had.

Ricky Irby and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney
Ricky Irby and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney

"I'm sad for him. I know how much he loves football, I know how much he loves this program, I know how much he loves this school. For him to not be able to showcase that his senior year is tough," Coach Irby said. "They like the kid more than the player. When your best player is your hardest worker, that sets a good foundation for your program."

Henderson became the hardest worker on the team because he didn't quite believe the prediction of an assistant coach just a couple of years ago.

"[Coach Stanley] used to always tell me that I would blow up," Henderson said. " I didn't believe him at first, because I wasn't getting looked at by many schools."

Henderson's ability is matched only by his humility. For all he has accomplished and for all the attention he receives, in his mind, he still got a long way to go.

"I haven't accomplished anything for real in my life," he said. "When my mom is in a big house and when she`'s taken care of, that's when I can start being a little more cocky. For now, I just gotta stay humble."

Treveyon Henderson 04.jpeg
Treveyon Henderson

The reason Henderson has played his final game for Hopewell before his senior year starts is because he will graduate in January.

When his teammates finally get to take the field next spring under the VHSL's coronavirus-adjusted schedule, he will be enrolled at Ohio State, the grand prize winners in the Tre Henderson sweepstakes.

Henderson chose Ohio State from among those 40-plus scholarship offers despite having never set foot on the Columbus campus.

"My heart told me this is the place that I need to be," he said. "This is the right place for me. And I'll do great things there."

"Ohio State checked all the boxes for him," Irby added. "When he came and told me he was ready, he had made up his mind and he knew where he wanted to go we blessed him."

Treveyon Henderson 03.jpeg
Treveyon Henderson

For Henderson, the early departure also gets him into an environment more suited to his pursuits. He has friends who have different, less productive, agendas which had every chance to derail what he's looking to accomplish.

"You grow up around it. You grow up around that type of stuff and you grow up around those types of people. It's hard trying to stay out of it," he said. "All my friends want the best for me even though they do what they do. They still want the best for me and to see me at the top."

Henderson has a 4.0 GPA at Hopewell and plans to study finance at Ohio State.

While he will play running back for the Buckeyes, he was recruited at four different positions.

When asked what’s the best thing he does on a football field, he responded “make people look silly.”

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