The commitments just keep on rolling in and this one is the biggest of the bunch as one of the top overall targets on the staff’s board, elite 2020 Lincoln-Way East WR AJ Henning has committed to Michigan during the mega June weekend visit.
Everything Josh Gattis wanted in his first top-flight get as a Michigan coach. Henning is an elite talent that can change the game whenever the ball is in his hands. He’s an electric receiver that can be used in the slot, on the outside or out even of the backfield. His elite speed and hands, playmaking ability, leg strength, and fight as a ball carrier allows him to dominate at the high school level and should get him on the field on day one of his college career.
For a pro comparison, with his ability to extend plays, great hands, versatility, his low center of gravity but large catch radius, I see a lot of Golden Tate in Henning’s game. And if he makes a similar impact as Tate did at Notre Dame or with the Detroit Lions, Henning will have a big career in the maize and blue.
I think he has superstar written all over him.
Compact build. Not a kid who stands out on the hoof, but has a well-developed upper and lower body. Has elite speed. Great burst and acceleration and can score from anywhere on the field. Very good hands. Catches the ball well away from his body and shows the ability to go up and catch passes that are above his head. Good lower body strength and will break tackles. More of a kid that will run past defenders than a make-you-miss in a phone booth guy. Shows some elusiveness after the catch. Versatile and can play in the backfield, slot or as an outside receiver. Needs to still continue to work on route-running and wide receiver technique if that is what he will do more of in college. Has dealt with some injuries, so staying healthy will be key for him in college. A true home-run threat and one of the more electric players in his class.Allen Trieu/247Sports
Early on, Henning was a “probably not happening” kind of a recruiting target. But once Jim Harbaugh made the offensive change and added Josh Gattis to the coaching staff, everything changed.
Henning was one of the first stops for the staff in the new year, which helped get him to Ann Arbor the following week. That’s where things really started.
Since Harbaugh took over the program, the staff has been stellar on visits for top targets. And this was no different. Henning left Ann Arbor loving what he saw. That lead to Michigan pushing Notre Dame at the top of his list.
Though the Fighting Irish held the Crystal Ball lead for the majority of his recruitment, it was Michigan who ended up winning out in the end. There were rumors of Henning silently committing to Michigan on the same day his buddy 2021 QB JJ McCarthy committed to the staff.
Either way, thanks to the Josh Gattis effect and fit in the offense, the Michigan program and University as a whole, and add in the chance to play alongside McCarthy in the maize and blue, Henning became the next big-time commit for the Michigan football program.
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 165lbs
- Hometown (School): Frankfort, IL (Lincoln-Way East)
- Notable Offers: Notre Dame, Georgia, Ohio State, Alabama, Stanford
- Rankings: Rivals (4*, #84 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #127 overall) – ESPN (4*, #105 overall)
- Composite Ranking: Four-star, #80 Overall, #16 WR #1 in Illinois
Photo Credit: AJ Henning/Twitter