PULLMAN — Sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, football is just a game. One Washington quarterback, blessed with a golden right arm and exceptional mind, has put things into perspective. Would he love to make an impact on the field? You bet. Would he rather impact the lives of others? Without a doubt.
2015 Union (Camas, Wash.) quarterback Nolan Henry (6-1, 175) already possesses the maturity and headiness any mother could ask for in her son. Henry has big dreams — dreams that include the likes of football. But that being said, football isn’t the end goal here, football is just an accessory.
“I would love to play quarterback for a big time school,” Henry said. “I feel I can compete with just about anybody out there. I could be one of the top recruits in the country.”
And he can.
Henry already has accolades galore. He was named the top underclassman quarterback as a freshman at the Northwest Elite Camp in 2012, beating out 94 other candidates. He’s been named the MVP or “#1 Rated QB” in four camps already this season as a sophomore.
His work on the field this season has not gone unnoticed. Henry is receiving letters from Washington State, Colorado, and Arizona State, as well as constant interest from Portland State and Eastern Washington.
Henry has unofficially visited Washington State three times already, and says he really likes what he sees.
“The turnaround they’ve produced under Mike Leach is awfully exciting,” Henry said. “Seeing the numbers they’re putting up and the points they’re scoring… that’s awfully attractive to a quarterback. I’d love to play in that system.”
Henry himself isn’t used to posting outrageous passing numbers. In fact, he owns the school record for completions in a game with just 17. In the system Henry is accustomed to, running the ball comes first. And second. And third.
Henry owns school records for pass completions in a season (113) and completion percentage as well (63.1%). He only threw for nine touchdowns last year, but again, he’s a “victim” of the playbook.
While this 2015 prospect does admit the offensive scheme he plays in is inhibiting his ability to draw scholarship offers, he opines he can, and has, competed with the best quarterback prospects in the Northwest, and believes his game is up to snuff.
“Brett (Rypien) and I are good friends. We always go toe-to-toe in camps and such,” Henry said. “I’m always right there with him. We’re always neck and neck in different competitions.”
Rypien of course holds offers from several big-time schools already, and will surely rack in more and more as time passes.
“Brett is looking for a big time school. He’s looking for something big,” Henry said. “When choosing a school, I’m going to take absolutely everything into consideration, starting with academics.”
“Would it be cool to play for a program with tons of tradition and history? Sure. But for me, I’m looking at life after football and I want to plan for it. I’m an education guy first.”
Though he is not born into a military family, Henry said he’s going to take a good look at the military institutions, as well as Ivy League schools in his college search. He boasts a 4.3 GPA, as well as an 1820 on the SATs. Scoring an 1820 on the SATs as a sophomore is pretty spectacular.
“I’m a man of character and I feel those institutions can provide me with the solid building blocks for life,” Henry said. “They can give me the tools to be a good man.”
Henry was quick to point out the Cougs are making quite an impression too, and will get a long, hard look.
“It’s awfully attractive over there,” Henry said. “I’ve received hand-written letters from Leach and some other letters from the staff. I really like what they’re doing over there. I mean, I’ve gone three times.”
As if Henry’s words weren’t enough, this past year he raised twenty thousand dollars for the people of Liberia. Henry was recently invited to the Elite11 competition in Pasadena, Calif., but will be foregoing that opportunity to bring supplies to the people of Africa, as well as help build the children a basketball court during his visit.
Henry is “Elite” in his own right.