Kids from all over are making their way here to Dublin, Ohio, for the FBU Top Gun event, featuring some of the top youth football talent from around the country.
For many kids, this is a new experience as they get a chance to compete with top talent for their age group and see how they measure up with other players.
For defensive back John Hunter Henry, this isn’t his first run at FBU Top Gun. Not his second, or third, either.
This will be now the fourth time that the Texas native will be participating in Top Gun, and you could consider him a veteran of the event. It’s nothing new to him anymore, and he keeps coming back for more.
“I like going to Top Gun because of the competition,” Henry said. “The competition and the small things I get to pick up off the coaching I get, because they get very talented coaches and they pick up the small things. This is my fourth time, and it’s the small things that will make my game better.”
As one could imagine, going to an event of this caliber four different times would really help slow the game down, and it Henry said that’s one of the biggest benefits of coming back.
“As I’ve gone along, it has kind of slowed the game down,” Henry said. “Everyone always says once you start getting it, it slows down, and it really does. When it slows down, it makes things easier to process.”
Standing at 5’9, 140 pounds, Henry has been a standout on the camp scene for the class of 2019.
Now finished with middle school, Henry will enroll and play football at Lake Travis High School in Austin. Henry considers himself a technician at the defensive back spot, and gave some credit to his FBU experience for his skill on the field.
“Well for me, it’s more of a technique-based skill,” Henry said. “I haven’t always been that guy who has been super fast. I have some speed, but I’m not as fast as the faster their are, so I always use the FBU motto of technique plus talent beats talent alone.”
When playing the defensive back at the youth level, you don’t often get the accolades that the running backs and the quarterbacks get.
While they’re getting all of the touchdowns, the players like Henry are making tackles and controlling the game, and that’s one of the things Henry enjoys so much about the position.
“For me, one part is everyone wants to be a quarterback, running back, or wide receiver,” Henry said. “They want to score touchdowns. Me, I’m more of a physical person, and I like to be aggressive with everything.”
FBU has served as a measuring stick for himself against other players from around the country, and he has stayed busy on the FBU camp scene throughout this football offseason.
Henry participated in regional camps in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio all of this summer. Henry credited some of the great coaching he has received as a major boost to his game, but also talked about how his main goal from the camps is putting his name on the national radar.
“They went well,” Henry said. “I want to get recognized. My goals in the regional camps are to be the best at my position, and to get recognize, and possibly get an award.”
Now that he’s in Dublin, Henry will get back to doing what he does – making plays for the FBU events.
He’s now as comfortable as one can be with the whole experience, and has received some quality coaching over the years. Now that he’s here for the fourth time, he knows exactly what he wants to accomplish.
“In my past Top Gun’s, my goal was always to get Eastbay,” Henry said. “Now that I’m going into high school, they have the freshman Adidas game, and that’s the goal I want to make out of this. That’s my goal out of Top Gun, to be noticed as the top.”
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