Avery Henry, the 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive lineman from St. Clairsville in Ohio, was one of the later offers sent out for the 2022 recruiting class. However, it did not take very long for him to accept that offer and become an Ohio State Buckeye. Today I am going to look at some of his tape and see what the Buckeyes are getting in Henry, and give some background into how he ended up a Buckeye after originally being an Iowa State Cyclones commit.
Recently, Henry underwent a massive change in trying to reshape his body to become the best football player he could be. His commitment led to him eventually dropping nearly 50 pounds over the course of the past year to get himself into better shape to earn collegiate offers.
Anybody that has the dedication and work ethic to lose that much weight while also maintaining their strength is somebody that I want on my football team and — if I were strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti — in my weight room. Henry credited eating better and discipline as the jumpstart for making this transformation happen, which will be things that he will need to maintain as a Buckeye. While his physical transformation will obviously continue on campus, Henry has made enough progress to now focus primarily on his technique and becoming the best blocker that he can be.
So let's go ahead and take a look at the tale of the tape.
You can easily tell which player on the field Avery is as he towers over his teammates and opponents. To start off, you see an absolute road-grader in the run-blocking game. He has good power and does a great job driving his legs to overwhelm his opponent with strength and leverage. He also knows how to utilize his size to overwhelm defenders, but also has a good idea of how to use leverage and angles against them as well.
He finishes his blocks and doesn't let up until the whistle blows. The tape shows multiple occasions in which you can see him following through to get pancakes instead of just doing the bare minimum to get his guy out of the hole. The mental game is an important one on the offensive line; being mentally strong and always having that edge against your opponent is a wildly underrated trait for guys in the trenches. While I do not know this young man personally, you can tell that sometimes when watching tape, which players have that mean streak and which ones don’t, and this guy has it.
In pass blocking, Henry will need to improve his technique to start going up against better competition at the next level, but he has a solid framework to start with. He has good bend and can get low while still having a strong base to get a solid initial punch on the defensive player without being thrown off balance by power rush moves. Balance is key when trying to pull off these techniques, and with Avery’s strong core, you rarely see him being moved off his center of balance.
When you throw in good work ethic and natural physical gifts, there's a whole other level yet to be reached out there for Avery Henry; 247Sports Allen Trieu has his NFL Comparison as Steelers OT John Leglue, which is a pretty good player to be compared to. When Avery lost those 50 pounds, the main concern was that he would also lose some of the strength. However, it appears that the opposite has happened.
The lineman seems to have maintained his power while also becoming more agile and able to conserve his energy in order to be more effective late into games. Carrying around significantly less wait has allowed him to maintain his stamina and ability to keep moving people around late into the fourth quarter. This is a player with potential, and there's nothing more dangerous than a man who has the drive and work ethic to back up his potential.
A big question that I am sure will be asked is if he is going to be playing tackle or guard at the next level. In my opinion, he could really play either depending on how his development progresses in Columbus. He has the length and the wing span to be a tackle prospect, but what remains to be seen is if he can hold up the edge against the stronger and more agile pass rushers that are surely going to come at the Big Ten level.
Based on his tape, he didn't really have the opportunity go up against the highest level competition, so there will be a learning curve to making the jump to the college ranks and going against the likes of Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau in practice every day. But, that is exactly what you need to do in order to get better; competition breeds excellence, iron sharpens iron. You all know the drill here.
Ohio State’s new offensive line coach Justin Frye will have some work to do with Henry, but this will be an exciting test for the coach to see if he can get the full potential out of this behemoth of a athlete. If Frye can develop the technical aspect of Henry's game, I feel like we could have another Dawand Jones on our hands where he was underrated out of high school, but truly shines at the collegiate level.
He may be the lowest rated recruit in the Buckeyes’ recruiting class, but he has a huge work ethic and desire to be great so I know he is not going to let that define him.