SETH - Former Sherman High standout student-athlete JT Hensley has made the decision to play football for Concord University after months of exploring his options as a baseball player at the next level.
Hensley, one of the most decorated athletes in Sherman High School history, said his participation in the North-South All Star Football Game helped him realized he wanted to play football is his top sport. Hensley brought home an MVP award after picking off two passes and scoring a touchdown as a receiver.
"Nine times out of ten, I'd choose football," he said. "I did explore my baseball options and even considered playing both, which would give me more money for school, but in the end, I know I made the right choice with Concord and with football."
The Class A All-State Captain and Coal Valley News All-County Player of the Year in both sports put up tremendous numbers for the Tide while leading them to three straight playoff appearances for the first time in school history.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound speedster collected 1,890 all-purpose yards while scoring 25 touchdowns rushing and 3 passing last season. He was also a strong defensive contributor while serving as the team's kicker/punter.
On the diamond, he dazzled as a pitcher, rolling up over 300 strikeouts in his junior and senior seasons combined, a school and county record according to CVN archives.
"I went with what my heart felt," Hensley said in a phone interview last week. "It came down to football and Concord had the most interest in me and they recruited me harder than anyone else."
Hensley visited Glenville State, Marietta College and Fairmont State among others before making his final decision.
"Concord has a very young coaching staff and I've watched my cousin play there and I heard a lot of good things about what they want to accomplish," he said. "I feel like I can help them and their team win some games next year."
Hensley will make the transition to slot receiver, a position he played before his triumphant run as a signal caller in the maroon and gold.
The Mountain Lion is working out twice a day with Sherman High quarterbacks and has been assisted by Sherman strength and conditioning coach Rick Saunders.
Hensley said that as a business major, the school is a good fit for him.
"They have a really good business program that falls in line with what I want to do academically," he said.
Hensley will join his cousin Will Hensley and fellow 2019 teammate and Sherman graduate Justin Hawkins as a Mountain Lion.
The receiver said that he knows a few of the players on the roster, which makes him comfortable going in.
"I've been working hard this summer so I can report in the best shape possible," he said. "I want to make an impact and I want to do all I can to help the team. I'm excited to get into school and get the next phase of my life going."
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @philipdperry.