Anthony Henry knows that your gifts will make room for you no matter where you're from, no matter how obscure.
Brown's Defensive Back Anthony Henry
by Matthias R. Monschein
There aren't too many people who would have held much hope of a fourth round draft pick making an early impact in the NFL. However, when you have a solid foundation in the Lord, your possibilities seem endless because he you know that God is in control of everything and there is nothing that can get in the way of his plans for your life.
Anthony Henry, Rookie defensive back for the Cleveland Browns, has found himself in that unique situation as one of the newest members of the Cleveland Browns. Anthony has been a believer long before he set foot on a football field and is very thankful for growing up in a household with Christian values and beliefs.
"I've been going to church since I was a little boy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I would go to church with my mother every week and I firmly believe that it helped to point me in the right directions. I am very thankful to God for that foundation that was laid down for me."
Anthony knew that if he maintained his faith and values, that things would take care of themselves. He was soon blessed by becoming a four-year starter for South Florida College and finished his career with 256 tackles, (169 solo's) recovering 6 fumbles, deflecting 22 passes and collecting 10 interceptions.
One has to wonder that if Anthony had gone to a powerhouse school to play instead of South Florida, would things have been any different for him?
"My mother was always there to remind me that God always finds a way for his people. It didn't matter where I went to college God had brought me there and I was more than happy to be there. If you have faith in God, his will for you is limitless. His direction and love is always on time."
His mother's words were never truer than in this past year.
That faith in God had inspired Anthony to play his hardest on the field and people began to take notice of his college accomplishments.
Not Long after Butch Davis took over as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, he began to search for that key element that would help to build a solid foundation within the Browns.
A good coach can tap hidden potential and get the best investments on obvious talent. That is the key reason why the Cleveland Browns worked so hard to make Davis their head coach. That is also the reason that Davis selected Henry in the 4th round of the draft.
"Some times guys who come from obscure places - not that South Florida is obscure from the standpoint that nobody ever heard of it, but it's a relatively unknown football program that has had members become Hall of Famers'." Added Davis, "It's not meant to be disrespectful. They just come in with less fan fare than some of the other guys from the traditional big school programs. Anthony is an excellent player. He was very well coached in college. They played him at many different positions on the defense and possibly for that reason some teams did not know what to make of him."
Davis continued on how they decided on that selection.
"Todd Bowles and Chuck Pagano (Defensive coaches) watched a lot of him and went down and worked him out. They came back and said. "This guy is an outstanding football player." We had our fingers crossed. I know that some of the brains on draft day were saying that was a horrible pick."
To Davis' credit, he was the best pick on the board the second day of the draft but not even he could have imagined just what God had in store for him.
Anthony soon found himself in the city of Cleveland playing for an up and coming team and living out a dream come true. However, he will never forget that it was God that made things possible for him to be at the right place and the right time.
"God will always let you know what it is that you're expected to accomplish and the answer was not always clear to me at first. In time, it became more and more evident to me."