Westlake's Malik Henry: Nation's top QB for class of 2016?
Jul 18, 2014 at 2:05p ET
For all of the eyes watching FOX Sports West that Friday night in September of last season, it would've been hard not to think they were watching
Malik Henry grow up right before their very eyes.
It was Sept. 27, to be exact and Henry, only a sophomore at the time, was still getting his feet wet as the starting quarterback at Westlake.
With the Warriors trailing by seven at the half they were in need of a jolt or else risk falling to 2-3 on the season.
Henry came out of the locker room and looked like a completely different quarterback in the second half. He threw two touchdown passes -- the first a 20-yard touchdown to Nick Rodridguez, followed by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Cole Hair.
Henry's efforts helped the Warriors score 21 straight to start the second half paving the way for their 24-14 come-from-behind win over Crespi.
Up, close, and personal the growth of Henry was taking form, finishing the night 17-of-24 for 218 yards and two touchdowns.
"After that, (Westlake head coach Jim Benkert), kind of, just talked to me, he settled me down a little bit and just told me go out there like it's practice and that's what I did and we had some success coming out of that game," Henry recalled.
Henry finished the year with 2,362 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He completed 60.3 percent of his passes.
Since his coming out party at the expense of the Celts, the 2016 signal caller has elevated to what some believe is the No. 1 quarterback in the country in his class. The scholarship offers started pouring in. As he prepares for his junior season, he holds just shy of 20 offers, which include USC, Notre Dame, and Nebraska.
However, he isn't surprised by all of the attention to this point. Upon transferring from Oaks Christian Benkert prepared him for this moment.
"The second day I walked in his office (after transferring) from Oaks he told me it was going to happen," Henry said. "He asked me if I was ready for it? I said 'yeah,' and it happened. So, he always had high expectations for me and just always kept it there."