Arizona Western CC outside linebacker D'Vante Henry is a guy that has flown under the radar of a lot of schools after going the JUCO route out of high school. After a solid sophomore season he's burst on to the scene once again and the Utes are doing their best to reel him in.
The 6'6" 215-pound prospect was named to the All-ACCAC first team just a few days ago. This season Henry led Arizona Western in a number of stat categories including total tackles (55) and interceptions (2). He also recorded 2.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, and forced 2 fumbles while starting all 7 games at OLB.
Henry has always had his eye on the Pac-12 despite growing up and playing his high-school ball in Oklahoma. He surprised a lot of people when he chose to commit to Oregon State over in-state program Oklahoma State and still has the Beavers in contention even in this second recruiting go-round.
Nicknamed "The Freak" in high school, Henry played cornerback at 6'5" 190 pounds and did just about everything for his team. Oregon State planned on playing him at defensive end but Arizona Western moved him instead to outside linebacker and he seems to have really grown into his new role.
Henry recently named his top-5 programs and the Utes made the cut. He visited Utah officially this past weekend and came away impressed by what he saw.
"The visit was pretty good, I had fun up there. We went to a lot of different places. They showed me around the campus, they showed me some new buildings they're putting in, and I got a feel for what it's like on game day up there. It was good."
The Utes lost a tough game to Arizona, but despite the loss Henry says he wasn't deterred.
"Yeah, it was cool even though they lost. The fans and the student section were pretty loud, I like that about them. I really like that in a crowd. They're pretty supportive in Salt Lake, there's a lot of Utah stuff around town. The town is big, but it's not too big. There's stuff to do, it's not isolated. It's good."
Though the Utah coaches know they're going up against some tough competition, Henry says there was no pressure to commit while he was on campus.
"They told me they didn't want to force me into anything, they just wanted me to make a good decision about where I play for the next four years."
Ute coaches (and fans) will have to wait this one out as Henry says he is in no rush to make a decision. He plans on taking all of his official visits before deciding which means this one will stretch on into February.
"My top schools right now are Utah, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Oregon State and Utah is definitely in the mix. I'm going to West Virginia December 8th, then I'll go to Texas A&M and Texas Tech after the season some time.
"I'll probably wait until signing day [to announce]. I want to get a good feel for all of the schools so I'll take my visits first."
Arizona Western has been a juggernaut, pretty much every since Tom Minnick and his staff showed up…