Malik Henry, a talented quarterback recruit out of Thousand Oaks (Calif.) Westlake High School for the class of 2016, committed to FSU Thursday. Henry checks in at 6'3 and 185 pounds. He has garnered offers from Arizona State, Auburn, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State Tennessee, Texas, UCLA and USC. His finalists were Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and UCLA.
He is rated as a five-star QB, and is the No. 1 QB for the 2016 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
I first saw Henry in person during the Elite 11 QB event in Los Angeles, before the National Championship Game. Henry, who is still skinny, was much more so then, but in an event loaded with elite quarterbacks like Josh Rosen, Ricky Town, Sheriron Jones, Blake Barnett, Ross Bowers and more at the Santa Monica College, Henry still stood out as being one of the best, despite being a year younger.
I've also seen Henry at Florida State's camp over the summer, where he was excellent yet again. Henry explained what he is looking for in a school and why he likes the Seminoles.
"I just love their offense," Henry said, explaining why he came to see FSU. "We run the same formations at Westlake, and I fit into this offense pretty well."
"Location isn't an issue for me at all," Henry said, noting that he has family in Tampa and Ohio. "I want to get away for college. If I happen to choose a local school, it happens, but location is not an issue and I'm open to playing anywhere."
Tim Brewster, FSU's national recruiting ace, has been key in his recruitment.
"He's a great guy," Henry said of Brewster. "He's always been straight up with me since the beginning. He came out to one of our practices and loved the way I threw and they offered me soon after that."
Henry has a strong arm. Though it is not necessarily the strongest in the country or his best attribute. At 180 pounds however, he has room to fill out and increase his arm strength.
Henry does a lot of things very well. Of note, he is able to put the right amount of zip and air under the football to make a variety of different throws. When he needs RPMs to drive the football outside the numbers, or take something off to get the ball over a linebacker, he can do that, all the while throwing the ball accurately in a position that allows the receiver to make something happen after the catch.
Henry is athletic, but he should be considered a pocket passer, as he looks to throw the football. I believe Henry is much further along in his development than any of the three quarterback recruits FSU has committed for the class of 2015. Read: Will Florida State really sign three quarterbacks?
Henry is a dual-sport star for Westlake, so the appeal of Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who also plays two sports for Florida State, is obvious. Florida State recruited Henry in a similar way as it did Winston.
"Just seeing what [Winston] can do in the offense," Henry said in July of the star QB. "And I like to compare myself to him a little bit, being a two-sport athlete and even playing the same positions (pitcher). I see myself playing both positions in college."
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher and baseball hitting coach Mike Martin Jr. are best friends, and the synergy of the two, and the proven plan of having a two-sport star appeals to Henry.
"I just had my meeting with coach Fisher and he told me that he loves two-sport athletes. And he explained how he and [Mike Martin Jr.] are best friends. He has no problem with me playing baseball as long as I establish my position on the football team."