In 2005, Pacman Jones and Chris Henry (pictured) left West Virginia University and entered the draft. Both arrived in the NFL with real questions about their off-field behavior, Jones in Tennessee and Henry in Cincinnati.
The fears came to fruition. Two years after they were drafted, Jones and Henry emerged as the faces of a beefed-up Personal Conduct Policy, with Jones banished for a year and Henry suspended for half of a season as then-new Commissioner Roger Goodell established himself as The Enforcer by rolling out a new policy — and rolling over both players.
Jones and Henry are now bound together again. Henry died in 2009. Jones, as noted by Kevin Clark of The Ringer, has adopted Henry’s sons. And Jones is now accompanying Chris Henry Jr. on his own college recruiting visits.
Chris Jr. is only 14, but he’s already in high demand. He’ll be a freshman in high school this year, not eligible to enter college until 2026. But he has offers from Ohio State, West Virginia, Marshall, Grambling State, Jackson State, Connecticut, Akron, Penn State, and South Florida. His most recent offer came Wednesday, from the University of Miami.
Watch this video of what he can do. It’s no surprise that college programs want him.
Dee Alston, who played with Jones and Henry in Morgantown, has coached Chris Jr. in junior high school.
“Sometimes I have to double glance,” Alston recent told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I see his father. I was around his father all the time. Sometimes out of the side of my eye he looks exactly like his father and it trips me out sometimes.”
“I like to watch his West Virginia [games],” Chris Jr. recently told WCPO. “Those are my favorite. When I watch him it’s like we run the same, catch the same — it’s crazy.”
Chris Jr. finds motivation in honoring his father, who died when Chris Jr. was still in diapers.
“It’s really important to live up to my dad’s legacy,” Chris Jr. told WCPO. “I think about it a lot when I’m on the field. I think he would be pretty proud of me right now, to see where I am.”
And Chris Jr. isn’t the only son of Chris Henry in the football pipeline. DeMarcus Henry is entering the eighth grade this year, and he’ll apparently soon become a prominent college prospect, too, guided by his adoptive father and emerging as a living legacy to his biological one.