Chris Henry Jr., the son of the late NFL wide receiver and the adopted son of former NFL cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones, committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday.
Henry, a Class of 2026 wide receiver from Withrow University High School in Cincinnati, received an offer from the Buckeyes on June 6, 2022, shortly before his freshman year of high school.
“I just felt like I was ready. I was just tired of waiting,” Henry Jr. told ESPN. “I already knew where I wanted to go. So when I went back there, it just already felt like home and I already felt like this is where I wanted to be.”
Chris Henry Sr., whose NFL career was hampered by multiple arrests, died in December 2009 when he fell out of the back of a pickup truck during a domestic dispute.
Jones, the younger Henry’s adoptive father, was a close friend and teammate of Chris Henry Sr. at West Virginia from 2002 to 2004.
Jones told ESPN in May that the “sky’s the limit” for the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Henry because of his ball awareness, ability to track the deep ball and the fluidity in which he runs his routes.
Henry, who also strongly considered Georgia, Clemson and USC, is the first 2026 commit for Buckeyes coach Ryan Day and offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Brian Hartline as the program continues to pound the pavement to sign highly ranked receivers.
“They’re just letting me know that I’m their priority guy,” Henry said of Day and Hartline. “Every time I go up there, every time we speak, they’re just letting me know that I’m their guy, that they wanted me bad.”
Since Hartline became the Buckeyes’ wide receivers coach in 2018, Ohio State has signed 18 ESPN 300 wide receivers.
Jeremiah Smith (No. 9 overall) and Mylan Graham (No. 37) are committed as part of the Buckeyes’ 2024 class, which ESPN has ranked third.
Three players with ties to Ohio State were taken consecutively in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft — Garrett Wilson (No. 10; Jets), Chris Olave (No. 11; Saints) and Jameson Williams (No. 12; Lions).
Williams spent his first two years with the Buckeyes before transferring to Alabama ahead of the 2021 season.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba was selected 20th overall by the Seattle Seahawks this past April, and junior Marvin Harrison Jr., a Biletnikoff Award finalist, is expected to be a top-five selection in the 2024 NFL draft.
That lineage and productivity and Hartline’s passing concepts inside the offense played a huge role in Henry deciding to offer his pledge now.
“It honestly played a big role because I see what they’re doing now and I like how they develop their receivers over there,” Henry said.
The Buckeyes, who ranked ninth nationally with 490.7 yards per game last season, have led the Big Ten in total offense and have ranked in the top 10 nationally every year Hartline has been on staff.
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