Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Thanks to a longtime reader named Steve who is obsessed with former Yankees third baseman and Cowboys quarterback Drew Henson, I found myself reading an interesting column this morning. As Buddy Moorehouse of Livingston Daily.com reminds us, it's the 10-year anniversary of Sports Illustrated doing a feature on the "Golden Boy" out of Brighton (Mich.) High School.
"Will he be the starting quarterback as a freshman for defending national co-champion Michigan when its season opens on Sept. 5 at Notre Dame?" asked Leigh Montville in the Aug. 3 issue of SI. "Some of the stories say this could happen. Yes, it could. Will he be the next young star in New York Yankees pinstripes, a power-hitting third baseman who someday could be trying to bring Roger Maris' record back home to the Bronx? Other stories say this could happen. Could he have passed on the football scholarship and done something else? Could he have gone in the first round of the June baseball draft as a fastball pitcher, a 95-mph strikeout wonder? Could he have gone to a Division I college as a blue-chip basketball recruit, possibly as a two guard? Could. Could. Could."
All of that might sound over-the-top now, but at the time, Henson was considered the next big thing. At age 18, he was already dining with The Boss in Tampa, Fla., and he was on his way to a storied career at Michigan. Henson broke the hearts of Wolverine fans when he passed up a chance to win the national title his senior year and decided to focus on baseball. That's what happens when George Steinbrenner dangles $18 million in front of a prodigy.
For whatever reason, Henson wasn't able to meet the lofty expectations set for him in baseball or football. He's been successful financially, but I sense that he'd give that all back for a shot at meaningful playing time in the NFL.
The one thing I know for sure is that Bill Parcells was an awful fit for Henson. This was a Jerry Jones special delivery, and even when Henson performed admirably in NFL Europa in 2006, Parcells was completely dismissive of his work.
In case you didn't know, Parcells worships baseball men like Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre. He spends part of his offseason each year holed up with former Packers GM Ron Wolf near the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training home.
When Torre told Parcells that Henson didn't have the confidence to play professional sports, that was it. Now, Henson's playing days are probably over. But the reason you shouldn't feel too sorry for him is that he's having the time of his life.
He recently got married on Turks and Caicos, with his close friend Keyshawn Johnson in the audience, and he'll soon announce a lucrative new project he's been working on.
OK, I realize you guys weren't sitting around waiting for a Drew Henson blog entry, but that column just caught my eye. Thanks for indulging me.