Smile Politely

Trulon Henry a “maybe” for Kraft Bowl

A surprising update from Trulon Henry: He might play against UCLA on New Year’s Eve.

That’s the big news from my interview with Trulon during halftime at the St. Bonaventure basketball game. Most of our talk was not really about football, but about people.

You’ve heard a lot about Trulon since the night he took a bullet. Perhaps you’ve participated in the online arguments.

He’s an engaging character with a gorgeous wife, a bouncing toddler and a full head of hair. What’s not to like?

Still, some people jeer about other aspects of his history. That’s reasonable. Through all the praise, few concrete examples of his supposed “leadership” ever emerged.

Well, I have one.

Last week, a non-sports person told me about her experience with Trulon. She recognized him from his photo on Smile Politely. She remembered him from an earlier semester. He was one of about 300 students in her class.

She fingered him as the culprit responsible for corralling all the student-athletes in class; moving them from the back rows to the middle of the auditorium; directing them to sit up straight, turn off their phones and pay attention.

If that seems like a small thing to you, it’s perhaps because you’ve never tried to persuade groups of teenagers to act. I think it’s unlikely that these student-athletes would have heeded Trulon’s direction had they not already formed a respect for his viewpoint, and leadership.


Whitney Mercilus is the latest example of the modern student-athlete dichotomy: A somewhat nerdy intellectual can still scare the shit out of people, and probably earn a few million dollars professionally before exerting his mental powers.

Yesterday, Whitney met the media to talk about his latest trophy. The Hendricks Award is presented annually to the nation’s top defensive end.

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