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Thursday, May 30, 2013
Hendren: 'It's a special thing' to commit to BC

By Roger Brown

James Hendren wrote down his goals in life when he was a freshman in high school. He made three copies of those goals, and hung one of the copies on his bedroom wall.

The first thing on that list? Get a scholarship offer from Boston College.

Hendren, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive lineman from the Dexter School, was able to put a check mark next to that goal Wednesday, when he received that offer from BC. He gave a verbal commitment to the Eagles about 10 minutes after the offer was made.

"It's kind of a funny story," Hendren said. "Even though once the offer came I knew I was going there, I didn't plan to commit right away. I was going to tell [BC coach Steve Addazio] that I was going to talk it over with my father some more.

"Then when I was talking to coach Addazio on the phone he said, 'I want to know one thing. Do you want to be a BC Eagle?' I couldn't hold back and committed even though I hadn't planned to."

ESPN has Hendren rated as a three-star recruit, and the No. 3 recruit from Massachusetts in the Class of 2014, behind St. John's Prep running back Jonathan Thomas and St. Sebastian's linebacker Connor Strachan. Thomas has committed to Maryland, and Strachan has also committed to BC.

"It's a special thing when you see a kid work his tail of and reach one of his dreams,” Dexter School coach Casey Day said. "BC was really the kid's dream school. BC was only going to take one other lineman in this year's class is what the word was, so we were keeping our fingers crossed."

Hendren also had scholarship offers from UMass, Ohio, Old Dominion, Rutgers and Holy Cross. He also received strong interest from the Ivy League, and had narrowed his Ivy League choices to Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Dartmouth.

"Virginia and Wake Forest were very close to offering, but hadn't pulled the trigger yet," Day said. "He has an NFL frame, and the skill set to be an unbelievable pass protector at the next level."

Hendren, who weighed 310 pounds at one point during the 2012 season, also plays basketball for the Dexter School. His first contact with BC came when former BC head coach Frank Spaziani spotted Hendren at an AAU basketball tournament.

"It's at home, and it's a top-30 school in the country," Hendren said. "Other than Harvard there's no better school in Boston to go to, and Harvard is not big-time football. I'll be playing in the ACC, and winning in the ACC."

Hendren became the fifth player from Massachusetts in the Class of 2014 to commit to BC. Strachan, West Roxbury tight end/linebacker Kevin Cohee, Millis offensive lineman Jon Baker and Doherty wide receiver/defensive back Isaac Yiadom are the others.

"Addazio told me, 'These are the type of local guys we want to build our program around,'" Day said. "These are the kind of kids they need to bring in.

"Although James hadn't made it public, BC was by far his top choice. It was a good match."