Commentary

Catching up with ... Drew Henson

Former quarterback now helps athletes manage finances, calls games for ESPN

Updated: September 7, 2011, 12:23 PM ET
By Chantel Jennings | WolverineNation

Editor's note: Catching Up With is a periodic series in which WolverineNation will interview past Michigan players about their playing days and what they're up to now. This installment features former quarterback Drew Henson.

Drew Henson graduated from Brighton High School in 1998, excelling in both football and baseball. He chose to enroll at the University of Michigan that fall rather than Florida State, in which he'd initially shown interest. At Michigan, he was a backup quarterback to Tom Brady during his freshman and sophomore years. During Henson's junior year he completed 146 of 237 passes with 18 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

[+] EnlargeDrew Henson
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesDrew Henson's fondest memory wearing the maize and blue? Beating Ohio State in Columbus in 2000 for the Big Ten crown.
In March 2001, under then-coach Lloyd Carr, Henson left Michigan, signing a six-year deal with the New York Yankees. With the Yankees he had nine at-bats but spent most of his time in the minor leagues. In 2003, Henson made his way back to football and was drafted in the sixth round by the Houston Texans. He was later traded to the Dallas Cowboys. He still lives in Texas.

Q: What have you been up to since your graduation from the University of Michigan? DH: I left school. Played with the Yankees, Tigers, Cowboys, played with the Vikings and the Lions and finished in 2009, retired and last fall I worked at ESPN3.com doing color commentary for some of their college games. I started a financial management company for athletes, which we started five or six years ago. And I've been involved with that. It's just long-term planning for athletes.

Q: What made you want to get involved with that aspect of sports? DH: As I was playing, you see good stories and horror stories among other teammates as far as their financial concerns and what they've done with them. I really enjoyed who I was working with and we started a company specifically geared toward athletes, to do their money and investments. It's all-encompassing and after they're done you try to develop a plan. It's not my day-to-day stuff, but it's been part of my last couple years as well.

Q: Which city was your favorite to be in during all of those moves? DH: New York. It's a one-of-a-kind city, it's really great. It's just a great city.

Q: During your years in the NFL what was it like to play against other Michigan guys? DH: Two hours before the game, you get out and have early warmups where it's just a short thing. You could usually have a chat or conversation with your old teammate, find out what they're up to and wish them good luck. Usually, after the game you could find one of the photographers to take a photo of you guys in your uniforms and they'd send that to you. So that was always a way if you had a good friend, or especially someone from your recruiting class, that if you played against them, to get a shot after the game and have that photo for the office.

Q: Are you coming up for any of the Michigan football games? DH: I was all set to come up for the Notre Dame game and I actually can't now because I'm calling the North Texas versus Houston game next Saturday. They gave me that game a couple of weeks ago. Obviously, I couldn't turn down the chance to cover a game, so I'm not going to make it, unfortunately.

Q: How was your recent vacation? DH: We went out to the cabin to get out of the Texas heat. Just got back this week and getting everything back in order, getting ready to call some games this fall. But vacation was good. We took our three dogs out to the mountains and went hiking and camping and did all that type of stuff that you kind of miss out on, so I've been catching up on all that stuff the last few years.

Q: Have you had a chance to look at this year's Michigan team? DH: I went to the spring game. It'll be exciting to see these guys because when you have a complete philosophical change, offensively and defensively, that first spring it can be a little sloppy because you're just getting everything together. But after the summer and fall training camp, I think you'll see a team that's much more organized and more efficient than they may have shown during their spring game.

Q: What are your expectations for them as a team? DH: You want to show improvement. I think they'll compete and I think they'll be right there in November with a chance to win the division in the title game. You'd love to see it come down to the final game, having a shot at it when they play Ohio State. But the first year of the staff, I think Brady [Hoke] will have these guys going, and I think you'll see improvement on defense immediately. And I think you'll see them be creative with Denard [Robinson], using him in the pocket. He does throw the ball well from the pocket, it's just overshadowed by what he does with the ball when he's running with it.

Q: What are your thoughts on the new Big Ten championship game? DH: I think it's great. I think it'll be great for the league. When you don't have a championship game in this day and age and finishing the season earlier than most of the other conferences like the Big Ten always has, you get lost in the shuffle a little bit. Adding Nebraska is great on a number of levels, and I'm excited to see that rivalry with Michigan begin. I think that from all levels it's great for the conference.

Q: Returning to your days at Michigan, what is your favorite Michigan football memory? DH: My favorite memory is pretty easy. It's going down to Columbus and beating Ohio State in 2000 to win the Big Ten.

Chantel Jennings covers University of Michigan sports for WolverineNation. She can be reached at jenningsespn@gmail.com.