The Texas Tech football team isn't wasting any time when it comes to putting together its next recruiting class. It has been an active January for Joey McGuire and his program including a recent Junior Day event that has already paid dividends.
Monday, Tech's recruiting efforts continued to yield results when Wylie, Texas safety Michael Henderson III gave his pledge to the Red Raiders. Making his announcement on social media, he becomes the ninth player to join Tech's 2025 class.
At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Henderson is a bit smaller than some players that Tech has deployed at safety in recent years (such as recently graduated Tyler Owens who is 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds). In fact, he's even smaller than 5-foot-11, 195-pound Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, who also exhausted his eligibility in 2023.
However, what Henderson lacks in size, he makes up for in athleticism. In that way, he may be more similar to Taylor-Demerson than most realize.
That's because like Taylor-Demerson was in Oklahoma, Henderson is an offensive force for his high school team, Wylie East. This past fall, he rushed for 657 yards and 11 touchdowns on 78 carries while adding eight catches for 104 yards and two more scores.
However, the plan is for Henderson to be a key defensive back in Lubbock. On that side of the ball in 2023, he had 37 total tackles, two interceptions, and seven pass deflections.
Henderson is a do-it-all athlete at the prep level. He lines up at multiple positions on offense, including running back and inside receiver, while also patrolling the middle of the secondary.
As for the Red Raiders, they are experiencing quite a bit of turnover at safety. With both Owens and Taylor-Demerson departing, there will be two new starters along the last line of the defense next season.
However, true freshman Brenden Jordan showed significant promise last season when asked to step in for Owens or Taylor-Demerson. This year, the Mansfield, Texas native was credited with 20 tackles (16 solo) and he figures to be a player to watch at safety next season.
Thus, there is likely no pressure on Henderson to have to play immediately. Rather, he can arrive next year and get his feet wet while working on adding as much quality weight as he can to his smallish frame.
Henderson picked Tech early in the recruiting cycle so his only other offers are from Texas State and Mississippi Valley State. But that is by no means any indication of how good he will be as a prospect once the 2025 rankings are released.
Currently, Tech has the No. 24 class in the nation for 2025 according to 247Sports.com. And the way that the program is recruiting, that ranking could rise as McGuire and Co. continue to do excellent work when it comes to changing this program's fortunes on the recruiting trail.