So really my decision came down to Long Beach Poly and IMG. I just thought IMG would prepare me better for the next level. Chris Weinke is the coach there. He won the Heisman, led them to their undefeated season and he wore number 16.
Hopefully I'll go to a couple games at Florida State next year.
I'd love to play in front of my family and friends in Long Beach but this was the best decision for me.
I had lunch with Coach Benkert everyday in his office. We'd go over plays and everything. He was probably one of my biggest mentors. Him leaving didn't have a huge role in it. But, after he left it did influence by decision.
Malik Henry: Official Junior Mixtape
They're Under Armour's number one team. Their weight room is amazing. They have every machine you need. Their physical training team is great. They have a couple alter-g systems and oxygen treadmills. Their football field is amazing and they're adding a couple thousand more seats.
Our first game is at (Bishop) Gorman in Vegas. I can't wait to play against Tate Martell and just compete against him. I got to talk to him at the Pylon tournament in Vegas last year. I think he's a great competitor and I love his game. That's probably our only close game to California so a lot of my family members and friends will be at that game. I've never been to Gorman and they have a beautiful campus so I can't wait to check that out also.
I wasn't even sure when I first went there (IMG). I thought it was just a training facility. What I found out is that it's a school. It's like college and you have 2 hour classes and some free periods. It's co-ed but the dorms aren't co-ed. Most of the football players room with a teammate. I'm rooming with Isaac Nauta.
It's a huge commitment. They're all about business down there. I know we have 6AM workouts, then we go to school, then we have workouts after that. IMG is only for the real athlete. I think they can take me to the next level with my game.
On the weekends if you don't have practice we have trips off campus to go bowling, the movies and stuff like that. You don't really need to go off campus. They have a spa on campus, a full time barber on campus. They have a great lunch program and a great cafeteria. A lot of the players told me they go golfing all the time.
You've got kids from all over the world like Australia, Japan and everywhere. It's unique because they all play different sports but everybody who goes there is the best at their position. You're surrounded by 5-stars no matter what sport you're playing. Tennis, soccer, baseball, football, basketball. Everyone has one goal which is to further their education, get to the next level, and excel at the next level.
I had a great time playing in California and playing with all my friends and competing against them. I just think IMG is the best move for me. Hopefully we can get some teams down here from Cali on the schedule. I wish the best of luck to everyone in California and I hope they continue to do well. Hopefully I see them in the future playing on Saturdays.
- Malik Henry