Chuck Landon: Henry took the long way to MU

August 11, 2018 GMT

It’s probably the longest pass route in history.

New Marshall wide receiver Artie Henry III once ran a 2,500-mile “go” route from Sarasota, Fla., all the way to San Diego.

Talk about going long.

But that’s what it took for Henry to continue playing football, so away he went.

“Out of high school (Booker), I wasn’t eligible,” explained the 6-foot-1, 177-pound junior.

“My grades were bad. I didn’t even know about junior colleges at first, but one of my trainers referred me to it.

“But we didn’t have a junior college in Florida, so I didn’t know where to go.

“But he knew someone in California and he told me to reach out to him. And that’s how it happened.”

Hello, San Diego Mesa College.

And, yes, that was a long, long way from home in the Sunshine State. Yet, Henry didn’t even hesitate.

“Nah, I actually wanted to go,” he said.

“I told my dad (Artie Jr.) I wanted to and he said, ’Are you sure?” And I said yeah. My dad raised me and I would have stayed under him.

“It was a good opportunity to get out of the house, go across the country by myself, grow-up and learn how to be a man.”

That certainly would do it.

“You had to learn how to be responsible, take care of yourself and everything,” said Henry.

“It was a good move for me on the field and off. It helped me mature a lot. I didn’t depend on my parents that much.

“I had to find adult ways to handle my business.”

In short, Henry had to grow-up in a hurry.

“I was only 18 years old,” he said with a smile.

“I left two weeks after my high school graduation. I went out there in the summer.”

Two years later, Henry still was in San Diego when Marshall’s basketball team traveled there to play in the West Regional of the NCAA tournament.

“I was already committed to Marshall when the basketball team came out to San Diego to play,” said Henry.

“I was supposed to go to the game, but I was at practice.

“We were doing off-season workouts and I was preparing to come here to Marshall.”

Henry obviously is a man who keeps his priorities in order.

And they were in this order: 1) Major college football. 2) Return to the East Coast area.

“It is good to be back,” said Henry with noticeable relief.

“It feels good to be back. The weather ... I missed the weather. Most people don’t, but I did. The rain ... everything.

“In California it was so dry. It never rained. There were barely even clouds.

“I feel more comfortable on this side of the country.”

Henry certainly looks comfortable during Marshall’s preseason football practices at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

He already has established a spot in the wide receiver rotation, while playing both the outside positions and in the slot.

Henry has been impressive.

There’s just one thing puzzling about him.

Why does Henry wear No. 2 when his name includes the number three?

“I didn’t even look at it like that,” he said with a laugh.

“I asked for No. 2, but I didn’t know if I’d get it.

“You’ve got to work for it. It’s not guaranteed.

“I guess I earned it.”

It didn’t take long.

For a change.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.