KEEPING UP

MHS graduate Henry played defensive back in indoor league

By BARBARA BOXLEITNER
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 7/10/18

Phillip Henry has continued his playing career in the Indoor Football League.

The Manning High School graduate played defensive back in two games for the Arizona Rattlers.

The 24-year-old said he received a call from the team about two months …

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KEEPING UP

MHS graduate Henry played defensive back in indoor league

Posted

Phillip Henry has continued his playing career in the Indoor Football League.

The Manning High School graduate played defensive back in two games for the Arizona Rattlers.

The 24-year-old said he received a call from the team about two months ago. A recruiter saw his online profile and told the Arizona staff about Henry.

"They wanted me to come out for the next year," Henry said, adding that team officials then decided they wanted Henry to play this season.

He signed on June 13. In his first game on June 16, he made three tackles, two of which he said required pursuit from the opposite side. His other tackle was on a kickoff as a gunner on that special teams unit. He had a half tackle in a June 23 playoff loss.

Henry was happy with his performance, given the changes in playing conditions.

"The field is smaller. There's less players," said Henry, also a frontline blocker on the kick return squad.

"It's more of man coverage," he said. "You're really not in too many zones. The game is a little faster than in college."

Henry has been training regularly since graduating from South Carolina State University. He said he had tryouts for two Canadian Football League teams and a tryout for the Jacksonville Sharks of the National Arena League. Kicker Nick Belcher, a Lakewood High School graduate who played for S.C. State, got Henry the Sharks tryout, he said.

In addition, Henry took part in South Carolina State's yearly Pro Timing Day- the second one he has done - during March. Among the eight former Bulldogs showing their skills to National Football League scouts, he posted the second fastest 40-yard time and tied for the highest vertical jump.

He said he will attend an August combine in Atlanta for the Alliance of American Football, a new league which he described as a lower tier of the National Football League.

More football

The Albany (N.Y.) Empire of the Arena Football League added Belcher during the free agency signing period. Belcher played for the Jacksonville Sharks the past season.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at jdanddoc@gmail.com.