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Central Valley Star RB Jance Henry Jr. Focused on Getting Better



Pitt running back target Jance Henry Jr.

The football factory that is Central Valley football is preparing itself for another season that they hope ends with both a WPIAL and PIAA championship.

If head coach Mark Lyons and his program can accomplish those lofty goals, they’ll likely do so because of two elite players: running back Jance Henry Jr. and lineman Brendan Alexander.

The exciting thing for Lyons is that these two players are both young and will be around for a couple more seasons, as Henry is finishing his freshman season and Alexander his sophomore. And despite their youth, both young players are receiving major interest from college football teams across the country.

Alexander is rated as a four-star recruit with offers from Pitt, Arkansas, Penn State, Wisconsin, West Virginia, North Carolina State, Duke, Maryland, Boston College, Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Miami (Oh.).

As mentioned, Henry is only a freshman but has seen his recruitment take off over the last month — receiving offers from Wisconsin, UCF, Ole Miss, Syracuse, Miami (Oh.) and Pitt.

This morning, Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with Henry and asked him about this last month and the work that goes into achieving his high school and collegiate dreams.

“For me, I really don’t look at it as competing with other freshmen, I consider myself to be competing against top-level guys like seniors that are already committed,” said Henry. “My goal is to one day get to that level. I’m just working, and the offers are nice but I’m more focused on just putting the work in every day. If I put the work in, the outcome of that will be the outcome, whatever that may be.

“I believe that all the coaches are able to see the work that I’m putting in and they’re liking it. My dad and I talk and just say that we’ll continue to work hard to get better and whatever comes, it will come. My only focus is on my main goal, which is to get better.”

Henry is no doubt doing that and has gotten better since the start of last season. Despite his age, college coaches are already impressed with the way Henry is able to impact the game as a running back.

“They always mention about how I’m such a young guy but I’m a downhill runner,” said Henry. “They like how I’m not scared of anything, and they like my vision. And when it’s that time, I have the breakaway speed.

“Right after the season, my dad, coach Lyons and I sat down and watched some film. We decided that we’re going to work on my cuts, trying to get more explosive. So, when it’s that time and coaches turn on my Huddle tape, they’ll see top guy speed and top guy cuts.”

Being just a freshman, Henry has so much more time in his high school recruitment that it’s something he’s honestly not thinking about. Although he’s making unofficial visits, Henry told PSN that he won’t start getting serious about really looking at schools until after his sophomore season.

While that may be Henry’s timeline, that won’t stop schools from making the trip up Broadhead Road in Beaver County to visit Henry and Alexander to try and lure them to their respective programs.

“Yeah, we talk every day about it,” said Henry. “Especially, after him and I just picked up our first SEC offers. We’re like, ‘Man, coaches are starting to notice all the work that we’re putting in.’ We just have to keep doing it because at the end of the day, they’re offering us so young, so we have to be able to maintain that level of play through our sophomore, junior and senior year. We’re trying to keep our focus and not thinking too much about offers. Our goal is really about winning a state championship.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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