As a freshman, TreVeyon Henderson started as a safety at Hopewell High School in suburban Richmond, Virginia, for a state championship team.


He was more of a receiver and defensive back as a sophomore. Only last year, as a junior, and partly because of an injury to a teammate, was Henderson unleashed as a running back.


He was sensational.


Henderson ran for 2,424 yards and 45 touchdowns in leading Hopewell to another state title and earning himself five-star status as a college recruit.


Friday night, Henderson ended the recruiting process by committing to Ohio State, adding another blue-chipper to a 2021 class already ranked first nationally. Henderson is ranked as the No. 17 overall prospect nationally and the second-ranked running back in the 247Sports composite rankings.


Henderson committed without having made an official visit. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down recruiting visits.


"He had a great relationship with coach (Tony) Alford," Hopewell coach Ricky Irby said of the OSU running backs coach. "I think that was the determining factor. Tre originally told me he wanted to wait until later in the summer, but once he figured out that’s where he wanted to go, there was no point in prolonging it."


Irby gushed about Henderson as both a player and a young man. He said Henderson has never had a grade lower than an A in high school.


"He’s a super high-character kid," Irby said. "He’s very focused and determined, very goal-oriented and an extremely hard worker. Top percentile of the kids I’ve ever coached as far as character, leadership, accountability and work ethic."


Henderson got more time at running back last year because the incumbent had a hamstring issue that limited him for some of the season. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder made the most of it.


"He’s got all the tools," Irby said. "His top-end speed is just phenomenal. He’s one of the fastest kids in the country. His balance, his vision, his agility and ability to accelerate after making a cut and get to top speed is very impressive."


Irby said Henderson averaged only about 13 carries per game last season, which meant he averaged about 12 yards per carry.


Henderson is the second running back to commit to Ohio State this month. Four-star North Carolina back Evan Pryor committed March 16.


"I think it’s intriguing to him," Irby said of having another running back in his recruiting class. "I think the angle that was played to him was, ‘Hey, look, you’re a kid that could make a lot of money playing football, so the more we can save the wear and tear on your body, the better.’ "


brabinowitz@dispatch.com


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