Morgan’s Henderson commits to play baseball at Auburn
Published 5:06 pm Thursday, April 20, 2017
Morgan Academy sophomore Gunnar Henderson has committed to play baseball at Auburn University. Henderson, a pitcher and shortstop for the Senators, attended Auburn University’s showcase last month and immediately made an impression.
“I was in the middle of pitching at their showcase and the coach came up to me and told me the evaluation was over and he was ready to make an offer,” Henderson said. “The rest of the day I was out there having fun.”
Henderson also has an offer to Alabama and has drawn interest from LSU and Mississippi State. Alabama was actually the first school to offer him in February, but he’s always been an Auburn fan and knew that’s where he wanted to go.
That’s why when he received an offer from Auburn, he decided to go ahead and commit, even though he has two more years at the high school level.
“I knew right then and there that was the only place I wanted to go to,” he said. “It was definitely a huge moment in my life because I’ve always wanted to go to Auburn.”
Henderson plays baseball nearly year-round, only taking a break for football season, where he plays quarterback for the Senators. He plays travel baseball with Future Prospects, a team out of Prattville, and The Prospect Lab, a travel ball team out of Birmingham coached by Travis Coleman.
Morgan Academy coach Josh Thacker said Henderson’s success should be attributed to his travel ball coaches, who have helped on the recruiting trail, and to Henderson and his parents, Allen and Kerry.
Thacker said Henderson is extremely humble and it shows in how he’s handled his recruiting.
“You get on Twitter every day and somebody is [writing] ‘I’m blessed to have received my fifth offer to somewhere,’ or every time an athlete gets an offer to a big school they are wearing full LSU gear around because they want everyone in the world to know that school has been after them,” Thacker said. “You would never know that from Gunnar. He doesn’t talk about it, he doesn’t brag about it, he doesn’t write it down anywhere. Gunnar just comes to work every day and does his job.”
Henderson has a win-loss pitching record of 6-2 this season. He has been serving as a long to middle reliever the last few weeks for the Senators, as opposed to starting games, just because Morgan has so many capable pitchers on a deep six-person staff. He’s also batting .348 this year.
Thacker said he’s talked to neighbors that live near the Hendersons about Gunnar and his commitment to getting better at baseball. He said they often tell stories of Gunnar practicing into the wee hours of the morning.
“He’s a tremendous athlete. You watch the kid and he can go out and dunk a basketball right now, he can throw a football 70 yards, he can juke a defender in football, he started at cornerback for us and he was a shutdown corner,” Thacker said. “He’d block every shot you shot in basketball and he can probably hit a golf ball seven miles. He’s just one of those guys that God blessed.”
Henderson also excels in the classroom. He has a 3.8 GPA and is part of the honor society and Student Government Association. The Senators baseball team will host Lakeside Academy in the first round of the Alabama Independent School Association playoffs on Friday.