verbal pledge to Georgia on Friday night surprised both Bulldogs coaches and fans alike.
It also shocked Yulee (Fla.)
head coach Bobby Ramsay.
"It took me by surprise," Ramsay said on Monday. "I think it was something that he and the other kids from this area (John Theus
, Brice Ramsey
) had talked about and maybe a couple days before. I expected them to be a school he certainly could end up at and could be down the wire for him. I didn't expect him to make a decision so soon."
Henry traveled to Athens on Friday with a Yulee assistant coach to attend Georgia's Dawg Night, an event that featured several other top prospects from around the Southeast.
That evening, Ramsay received a call from the assistant coach who told him that Henry was prepared to commit, despite the assistant coach cautioning Henry about committing so suddenly.
When Ramsay spoke with Henry, it was clear to him that Henry felt comfortable in Athens. He bonded with Bulldogs assistant Bryan McClendon, responsible for Georgia's running backs, the position Henry hopes to play.
"He kept telling me, 'Coach, it feels like home, where I want to be.'"
Henry joined John Theus, Tramel Terry
, Brice Ramsey, and 2014 standout Stanley Williams in making a verbal commitment to Georgia.
Ramsay said that both Mark Richt and wide receivers coach Tony Ball, who was Henry's chief recruiter, cautioned him not to commit because he was caught up in the moment.
"It was not something that they had discussed prior to him coming there. They were surprised by it."
While Henry is only going into his junior season, he has been a fixture on the recruiting scene since his freshman season in 2009, when he was a runner-up to Kelvin Taylor
for MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year honors.
Last year, Henry rushed for 2,689 yards and 38 touchdowns en route to becoming the 2010 MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year
According to Ramsay, Henry told him he wanted to get his commitment out of the way so that he could focus on having a big junior season both athletically and academically. Still, Ramsay does not expect that other schools will stop recruiting Henry, who still must wait 18 months before signing a National Letter of Intent.
"We'll see if it sticks," he said. "He's not a very fickle kid. I'd be surprised if he decommitted. He's gonna do (Florida's) Friday Night Lights and probably check out a few other places. But I think he's gonna hang in there."
Ramsay said he soon heard from Florida, Florida State and Tennessee, asking about Henry's commitment.
"I said 'Derrick and I are close, and none of us saw it coming.'"
Other schools believe it's still early and will try to change Henry's mind, according to Ramsay.
"I think he's definitely committed, but I don't ever want to say that there's no way he'd ever change his mind."