Hello, I am @jrberendzen on Twitter and this is one of my free agent interviews where I ask very deserving free agents questions about the players themselves and about what a team would get in these players. All of these players should get picked up by NFL, CFL, and XFL teams and get a shot at being a career football player. So I hope you all read this interview on Henry and follow his journey on Twitter @HenDawg352
1.What do you hope to achieve as a football player going forward?
Whether I have to play in the CFL, XFL, or even arena football, I want to earn the opportunity to play in the NFL, and I want to be an inspiration to not only my son but the kids from my hometown Gainesville, FL. Show them that through hard work you can make your dreams come true.
2.What has been your biggest challenge in life?
My biggest challenge and blessing in life is having my son at a young age. Biggest challenge because when he was born I put college and football on hold for an entire year, but I kept telling myself I would find my way back on the field and chase my dream and graduate. Then when I came to UWF I was fortunate enough to bring my son with me, but it was most challenging having to balance being a full-time father, and full-time student-athlete, as well as working part-time just to make ends meet for my son.
3.What is your mindset when you are on the football field?
Simply it’s to win the game and earn my respect from everyone playing. Make them remember my name. I’ve never been the fastest, strongest, biggest. I’ve never been like the all-star on the team, so I feel like I’ve been overlooked a lot since middle and high school. That gives me a chip on my shoulder to show everybody I’m not a joke and I’m really like that on the field. “They gunna feel me today.”
4.If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?
THE present NFL player would have to be Tyrann Mathieu or Joe Haden. They both have been my favorite players since they were in college. In the past, it would have to be Ed Reed or Sean Taylor because they were the best two safeties to ever play the game.
5.What is your favorite workout?
I don’t really have a favorite workout. I love working out because it makes me a better football player, but I feel like the best way to get better at football is to play football. I like doing 1 on 1s and 7v7. Full speed scrimmage. Watch the film after seeing where you can improve and get better again the next day.
6.Rank focus,footwork and skill based on what is most important to you as a football player and explain why?
Focus first because it’s easy to get lost in the moment and even if you have good skills and footwork without focus you can get lost looking at the wrong keys leaving you looking crazy no matter how good you are. Then I’d say footwork because as a DB you have to be able to move and cover receivers with good technique. Then skills because skills come at the end when it’s time to make a play, tackle, or interception. I feel like at that moment of truth is when the ball skills or tackling skills come in, but you have to have the focus and footwork first to get yourself in a position to make those plays.
7.What are your favorite moments from your football life?
Everybody who plays football this long creates a lot of memories. The most impactful one had to be training with Numa Speed and Homegrown Worldwide in Gainesville, FL. With them, I trained with a lot of top athletes including Josh Gordon, Greg Little, Chris Thompson, Ralph Webb, Kenrick Young, Keith Kelsey, and much more. Training with these guys really gave me the confidence to continue pursuing my dream when I had my son. Because I was able to train and compete with them, I knew I had the ability to compete in the NFL.
8.What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?
I always wanted to be a professional athlete, so I played almost every sport growing up, and my first year at FIT I played football and baseball. I remember standing in the center field during BP, and I almost got hit with a line drive because I was trying to watch spring football practice. That’s when I knew I was really supposed to be on the football field.
9.What is your favorite stadium that you have played in?
Nothing like them Friday nights back in high school under the lights at Citizens Field. Especially during an inner-city rivalry game or during the playoffs when they put the G in the middle of the field and the hurricane flags in the end zones.
10.What would a team get in a player like you?
They’re going to get one of the most coachable players they’ve ever had. I try to learn from every credible source possible. I’m going to stay in my playbook to learn it inside and out. Stay in the film room breaking down film. Also, somebody who loves to play the game. I’m trying to get on special teams as soon as possible, and I’m not trying to get off. If I was a starter on an NFL defense I’m still trying to start on special teams.
11.What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?
I’m just myself, I don’t try to be anything I’m not or bring any fake energy. I’m just ready to compete.
12.If your life was a tv show what would you call it and why?
I had a show called “Dat Boy Hen TV” when I was FIT but now nobody calls me “Dat Boy Hen” it’s either “Hen” or “Hen Dawg” so if I had another show, I’d probably call it “The Hen Show.” It’d be the funniest most serious reality show ever because no matter what I’m going through or how down I am nobody ever knows because I’m always smiling, laughing, and having a good time.
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