EDMOND — At 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, J.R. Hensley is often the center of attention.
Most of that is based around his personality, which easily matches his frame.
“It makes me sad when everybody comes out with a poor attitude,” said Hensley, an offensive lineman at Edmond Santa Fe. “Everyone tries really, really hard to succeed. If anyone knows that, it’s me.
“If you take everything so seriously, you’re not going to have any fun. I don’t want to go to college and play this sport and not expect to have a good time. I know when it comes down to the wire, it’s serious. I’m not going to waste my time with negativity.”
Throughout his high school career, Hensley has matured to become the Wolves’ leader. He’s also become one of the state’s top linemen, as he is ranked No. 26 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 recruiting rankings.
He holds just one scholarship offer from Missouri State, with more likely on the way, and likely from bigger schools.
“J.R.’s got the measurables,” Edmond Santa Fe coach Lance Manning said. “I think that he’s done himself a lot of good with these camps over the summer. I think all of them are looking for one thing or another they want to see, and I think that once he gets a game or two under his belt, he’s going to get a lot of offers, if not before that.”
Hensley, the younger brother New York Yankees prospect Ty Hensley and son of former Kansas State pitching coach Mike Hensley, understands the recruiting game. Going on visits with Ty a few years ago was beneficial.
He still doesn’t necessarily enjoy the entire process
“It’s frustrating, but don’t get me wrong, the recruiting process is really fun,” he said. “Even if I had every offer from every school, it just gets to a point where it really stresses you out. Sometimes your pride takes a shot once or twice, but at the same time it motivates me to keep pushing and working.”
Still, he’s going to have fun while playing football.
He could be dumping ice into warm baths teammates are taking. He could be hiding things from coaches. He could even be messing with young quarterback Keaton Torre.
Manning said it’s a good thing to have that type of personality around the team. He also said he’s pleased with the leadership Hensley is showing during the offseason.
“I think we all as coaches and players have to find the line between not being a goofball all the time and getting anything done,” Manning said. “He really has stepped up. The good thing about J.R. is he’s very committed to Santa Fe football and what we’re trying to accomplish.”