Pulaski Academy and five-star tight end Hudson Henry defeated Springdale Har-Ber 50-14 on Friday night in Springdale.
Henry, who is one of the top recruits in the nation, finished with eight receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns. He had 3-yard touchdown reception that gave the Bruins an 8-0 lead with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Henry caught a 54-yard touchdown pass that pushed the Bruins up 28-6.
The game was supposed to be close, but Pulaski Academy is ranked No. 8 overall in the state by Fearless Friday and No. 1 in Class 5A, took poured it on the home team.
“I think last week playing Bryant kinda the way we played,” Henry said. “We had seven or eight turnovers. It really hit us hard. We came out and practiced unbelievable this week. I’m so proud of my teammates, all of them, and I’m so proud to be a Bruin.”
While it was just an exhibition game, Bryant poured it on the Bruins. How much did that loss drive you guys this week?
“It really set a tone kinda in the locker room,” Henry said. “That next Friday it was a little hard, but we were pissed off. We came out and wanted to play tough as nails and that’s what we did tonight and I’m so proud.”
Henry has narrowed his decision down to Arkansas, Stanford, Penn State, Clemson and Wisconsin. Is your focus on just the Bruins and no recruiting now?
“Honestly I’m just trying to focus on my senior season,” Henry said. “That’s what is most important to me. College can come later. What is most important to me is my teammates and my team. Just wanting another state championship with my boys.”
Do you have any visits currently lined up?
“For right now, I try not to take visits during the season because I want to focus on playing on Friday nights and stuff,” Henry said. “I think I may take one. I don’t know when our bye week is, but I might go take one somewhere.”
While he may not be focusing on his recruiting as far as college, he says he will be watching the Razorbacks with special interest because of his brother.
“Yes, I will,” Henry said. “I will be watching and interested in how they do. I think I will get up there and support him pretty often. It’s his first year. Hayden is an unbelievable player. He’s probably better than me and Hunter. I want to go up there and support him. He came out here and supported me tonight.
“It was nice having Hayden up here watching me play,” Henry said. “He hadn’t seen me play in awhile. It’s always nice to have extra family members up in the stands.”
Following the game, Henry reflected back on the 54-yard touchdown catch and run.
“I mean I think, honestly, it’s just all God-given talent,” Henry said. “I just saw my opportunity and I wasn’t gonna be tackled. My teammates made some great blocks down field and I was able to get in.”
The road win over a Class 7A team has to help provide some confidence for the Bruins doesn’t it?
“Momentum wise, I think we’re the best team in the state,” Henry said. “If we play what we’re capable of and tonight you guys saw that. If we play PA football no one can stop us.”
Super fan Caanan Sandy was in attendance to watch the Bruins get the win. Henry took notice.
“I love Caanan,” Henry said. “He’s unbelievable. He’s one of my favorite fans. He’s always at our practices and our games. I just love seeing him. I love him so much.”
Since Hudson is a tight end like Hunter the two obviously get compared pretty often.
“I take it as a compliment,” Henry said. “A lot of people put that legacy over me, but I think I don’t want to have that hanging over me. A lot of people have tried to dog on me like that, but I take it as a compliment. I’m gonna be as good or better than Hunter.”
In addition to Hunter and Hayden, Mark Henry, the father, also played at Arkansas. When Hudson makes his college decision he will be the fourth member of the family to play major college football. But it’s another member of the family that Hudson credits with the athleticism.
“I mean we have so much talent,” Henry said. “I got some great genes especially from my mom (Jenny). My dad was kinda the big guy, but my mom gave me the speed and quickness. So you guys can thank her for that for all of us. It’s just a blessing to have such a great family.”
Henry was asked how much he looks up to Hunter and Hayden?
“I love them so much,” Henry said. “Hunter helps me unbelievably. He’s just such a loving guy. He always helps me with my route running. When he came back for his wedding we went to DI. We worked on route running, weight lifting and catching and all that. He’s just a great resource.”
Hunter is going to miss the 2018 NFL season due to a knee injury. Hudson provided an update on him on Friday night.
“He’s doing real good,” Henry said. “He sends us videos everyday. I’m just so proud of him and his recovery. The bad part is he can’t play the season, but the good part is he got married this year. He gets one year to spend with his wife. Which I think is good. That’s something God can bring from a tragedy.”
Hudson wears No. 84 same as Hunter. But he laughed and said hold off on saying he is wearing it because of Hunter.
“I actually had it before Hunter,” Henry said. “It’s kinda funny because he wore No. 82 in high school and they didn’t have that when I was in junior high. So I wore 84 and then two week’s later (at Arkansas) he got No. 84. So I can I got 84 first and he’s copying me.”
Henry and the Bruins will be at Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway next Friday.