Irish still among Henderson's eight

The reasons are long and detailed as to why and how the nation's top-ranked offensive tackle recruit, Seantrel Henderson (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall), narrowed down his list of more than 40 scholarship offers.

According to the Henderson family, Notre Dame's athletic department dismissing head football coach Charlie Weis on Monday, isn't going to eliminate the Irish from future consideration.

With plenty of insight from his parents, the 6-foot-7, 295-pound Henderson has zeroed in on eight schools. Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida, USC, Oklahoma, Miami, Iowa and the local school Minnesota, remain in the mix. The Irish and Buckeyes have already received official visits, and USC and Florida will host him the next two weekends. Oklahoma is in line for the fifth and final visit, but that could change and go to Iowa or Miami.

"Our five was our five for a reason," Henderson's father Sean said. "We had our five plus the Gophers, Miami and Iowa, so with that, everybody is always still a consideration. We like everybody for different reasons and things that will benefit Seantrel. We're going to play it by ear. We still have three more visits we have to take before we decide in February."

The Henderson family will be paying close attention to the moves the Notre Dame makes regarding its future head coach.

"We'll definitely be monitoring real close what Notre Dame's decisions are regarding the coaching staff in the near future. All of the plusses about the school, especially where education is concerned, tradition, and the values and degree coming from Notre Dame are the strengths of the school, and why we're looking at them."

The elder Henderson added that hiring a big-name coach would certainly catch his son's eye, but whatever direction Notre Dame goes in, they'll look into any coach.

"We'd have to do a little more analyzing," Henderson said if Notre Dame went with a coach that wasn't a household name. "It would probably effect [Seantrel's] personal decision. For me as a father, I would do more homework so he could make a more sound decision, but it's hard to tell a kid about a coach he's never heard of, when he's heard of all these big names and what they've done.

"The coaching and football are second to the education and situation Seantrel would be in. We know he's going to play, and get opportunities, and get as close as he can to a title. We're concentrating on the balance of education and football."

This week, the Henderson family is expecting in-home visits from Minnesota on Tuesday, Ohio State on Wednesday, and Iowa and Oklahoma later in the week. They're also looking to hear from Notre Dame and interim head coach Rob Ianello in the near future.

Besides his trips to Notre Dame and Ohio State for their respective games against USC, the five-star Henderson has taken unofficial visits to Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. He is ranked by ESPNU's Scouts Inc. as the fourth-best player in the country overall.

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