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Sting Factor: Brandon Henderson's flip from Iowa State to Illinois

Brandon Henderson
Brandon Henderson (Nick Lucero/

When a major program loses a key recruit, takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.


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Brandon Henderson took multiple visits to Iowa State, spent time in Ames, brought his mother and over the summer decided it was the best place for him.

Illinois had offered at that time but the three-star offensive lineman from East St. Louis, Ill., took his first visit ever to Iowa State, said it had a special place in his heart and decided to make his commitment in July.

But then Henderson kept getting recruited by Illinois and he’s watched the Illini have a surprisingly strong season. Another teammate in three-star linebacker Antwon Hayden is committed there.

And so earlier this week, Henderson flipped his commitment to the Big Ten program and coach Bret Bielema.

With Henderson’s commitment, the Illini continue to load up with offensive linemen in this class as he joins fellow three-stars TJ McMillen, Zachary Aamland and JUCO Dez’Mond Schuster.



This is a pretty key loss for the Cyclones' coaching staff, as I would have put Henderson in the top tier of commitments in the 2023 class. He was a huge get for them over the summer and was a centerpiece of a class that at one time climbed into the top-25 nationally.

The timing of it also doesn't really lend itself to ISU finding a comparable replacement at the 11th hour. While Henderson likely wouldn't have made an impact in the near future, given his position on the field, he was a foundational piece of future offensive lines in Ames. - Bill Seals,

Sting factor: 8



Iowa State is down to two offensive line commitments and Henderson is a loss but there are plenty of talented Midwest linemen who would want a shot to play in Ames, for coach Matt Campbell and for offensive line coach Jeff Myers. Henderson is a talented kid from an exceptional program but he’s replaceable so while this is a significant loss it’s not the end of the world and the Cyclones will be OK.

It also doesn’t sting as much since the three-star flipped to a Big Ten school and not another Big 12 program. - Adam Gorney, National Recruiting Director

Sting factor: 5