EXCLUSIVE: Michigan State Football, and Jonathan Smith Top-Offer for Unbelievable RB Jance Henry Jr.

In this Spartan Nation exclusive, Michigan State and Jonathan Smith consider Central Valley High School running back a top priority -- and we spoke with the Pennsylvania star Jance Henry Jr.
Central Valley   s Jance Henry runs to the end zone during Friday night   s game at West Allegheny High School.
Central Valley s Jance Henry runs to the end zone during Friday night s game at West Allegheny High School. / Sally Maxson / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Michigan State Spartans offered 2027 running back Jance Henry Jr. on May 9th, and there is plenty for the Green and White to be excited about. But the Spartans are not alone.

The Monaca, Pennsylvania native is quickly gaining attention as a prospect. He has offers from Ole Miss, Penn State, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, and he will see that number balloon. However, right now Henry says that Michigan State is the favorite at this point, he thinks he will "shoot up there [to East Lansing] really, really soon."

"I can't even lie ... Michigan State is at the top, just because I'm looking at the guy they're putting out," Henry told Spartan Nation. "The running backs coach [Keith Bhonapha] is doing a great job, I actually spoke to him at a mega camp, and we just talked ... he got real and in-depth about the guys and what he does to prepare those guys, and it was very exciting ... He's a cool guy, he's an honest guy, too. He not going to lie to you. He'll tell me stuff I need to work on, and I like that in a coach."

Henry has freakish athletic ability and tools that suggest that he will only get better.

The 5-foot-8, 195-pound rising sophomore can bench press 305 pounds, deadlift 550 pounds, and squats 450 pounds. All of those numbers have been verified by his head coach at Central Valley High School, Mark Lyons.

Lyons said that Henry's drive and work ethic set him apart. Couple that with the physical traits, Lyons said Henry is "the real deal."

"You do a double-take. You kind of just, like, 'Am I seeing this correctly? He's actually put together like that for a young man?'" Lyons said. "His body is unbelievable for his age. He has a lot of attributes of a lot of past running backs that kind of have that makeup as far as that body structure. You don't believe it unless you see him in street clothes."

It's not just for show. As a freshman on varsity last season, Henry rushed for 1,008 yards on 144 carries in 12 games. Henry scored 12 touchdowns while averaging seven yards per carry. Even more impressive is that Henry wasn't even getting the starting carries for most of the season.

"Early on ... we knew he was special, [but] again there's still that process, you know, like every coach will tell you, you gotta earn your spot," Lyons said. "And he never hesitated. I tell you what, the limited touches he got early, it just was phenomenal. Obviously, we just had to increase it as each and every game presented itself."

Lyons said that Henry's most overlooked quality is his open-field speed.

"I don't think he gets enough credit ... Because he don't have that long gait, that long stride that looks like he's covering ground," Lyons said. "But I tell you what -- there's several clips on his Hudl where people have gotten angles on him, and they haven't gotten to him ... When you're running in a pair of shorts in a place where everybody's got a stopwatch on you, opposed to putting equipment on and somebody is chasing you, and they haven't caught you, that's more impressive than a clock time in my opinion."

Henry said he runs a "low 4.6" 40-yard dash and it surprises most people because of his size and youth.

The biography on one of Henry's social media accounts reads "Outer Space." Considering his seemingly out-of-this-world ability, it is fitting.

Michael France is Sports Illustrated's Michigan State recruiting beat writer, covering all things Big Ten recruiting for Spartan Nation. Be sure to follow him on Twitter/X@michaelfrancesi for exclusive Spartans recruiting coverage.

Don’t forget to follow the official Spartan Nation Page on Facebook Spartan Nation WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE, and be a part of our vibrant community group Go Green Go White as well WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE.

Michael France