North Penn Trio Signs to Play Collegiate Football

On Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, North Penn seniors Justis Henley, Khan Jamal and Owen Thomas were recognized for signing letters of intent to play football at the collegiate level. Visit the Photo Gallery for photos of the event.

Justis Henley – University of Delaware (Football)
Final list of colleges: Delaware, Army, Air Force
Reasons for choosing Delaware:  “Before I got the Delaware offer, I was strongly considering Army, but the service wasn’t something I was too interested in. Delaware was a blessing for me. It felt like a perfect fit.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in football at the collegiate level?  “Ever since I was little, it’s always been my dream to play Division I football. I worked hard over the years, I knew my goal, and it happened.
“Playing on the great teams that we did – I felt like all three years I played at North Penn we were pretty good. We had a lot of attention on us. Guys like Reece (Udinski), Ricky (Johns) and Keith Earle – they all set the standard, and coach Beck and our other coaches really helped out a lot in our improvement.”
What did you enjoy most about your high school football experience?  “Every Friday night I enjoyed just putting on the jersey and going out there with my teammates, who were my best friends. Surrounding myself with great coaches who were always pushing me - I enjoyed every second of it.”
Coach Dick Beck says:  “As disappointed as I am that he didn’t receive offers from the Big 10 and the ACC, which I really felt that his play warranted, I think at Delaware he’s going to get the best of all the worlds. He’s going to a great academic institution and I think he’s going to get a great shot to play early. With his versatility, he could play both sides of the ball, so he can play where they most need him.
“There’s nothing he can’t do. He runs well, he can make people miss in the open field, he has great ball skills, he catches the ball as good as anybody, and he has a great feel for the game. He could play safety – he’s a great center fielder. How many games did he end with an end-of-the-game interception? He has 15 career interceptions. Owen and Justis are three-year starters, and the last two years they have been two-way starters. The one thing great about Justis is he’s good on the field, and he’s great off the field. He’s good in the classroom, he’s a school leader in the hallways. He gives you everything as Owen does also.
“Justis, from his freshman year to his senior year of any kid we have ever had, has improved his speed. He probably went from a 4.8, 4.9 kid as a freshman to a 4.5 kid as a senior, which is phenomenal improvement and a testament to his hard work in the offseason.”
About Justis:
Favorite food: 
Favorite movie:  Friday
Favorite music:  Rap

Khan Jamal – Delaware State University (Football)
Sports Management
Reasons for choosing Delaware State:  “I was in a different situation. I didn’t really have any offers on the table. I was talking to different PSAC colleges, and Delaware State came and the coaches and I just hit it off. We had a good relationship and kept talking, and that’s the place I wanted to go to.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in football at the collegiate level?  “Since I was a kid, I wanted to play in college, but what really gave me a push was when I saw people I grew up with starting to get offers. That’s when I really knew I wanted to play football.
“I’m a transfer, and before I moved here I had a couple of colleges coming in, but when I came to North Penn, That’s when they started rolling in. Colleges were coming in every day.”
What did you enjoy most about your high school football experience?  “It was a great football experience – having friendships and meeting people. We’re brothers forever. Being able to have two great coaching staffs because me coming from a different school, it was a blessing.”
Coach Dick Beck says:  “The Khan Jamal thing came in at the last second. I got a phone call on Monday from the coach, and he said they were going to offer. I was super excited. He met with them last spring, but they came in two weeks ago. The coach was really impressed. I really think what helped Khan besides the fact that he’s a (heck) of a player was that he’s very strong academically. He has a good balance of being a good player and a good student, so I think that was something that made him so attractive to Delaware State.
“Khan is a very physical player.  He enjoys the physical contact, so he’s a big hitter. He could play safety. I think he could develop into a linebacker. He’s multi-faceted. Not only can he play linebacker and tackle people, he has great ball skills where he can catch the ball on interceptions, and after he intercepted the ball, he has the ability to make people miss and get to the end zone. Khan was a running back for us also, so you’ve got a strong safety/linebacker type who can also play tailback. That tells you about his versatility. He has deceptive speed and quick feet.”
About Khan:
Favorite food: 
Favorite music:  Hip-Hop

Owen Thomas – Villanova University (Football)
Final list of colleges:  Villanova, Central Florida, Duke, Pitt
Reasons for choosing Villanova:  “Villanova and Central Florida were the only ones offering me scholarships, so I knew I would have to walk on at Duke or Pitt, and I didn’t really want to do that. I wanted my family to be free of the expense.
“I went down to Central Florida, and I liked everything. I liked all the coaches, but it was too far from home. I wanted to be closer to home so my family could see me. Villanova has a great education, they’re very close to home and have good football, and I liked the campus.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in football at the collegiate level?  “I pretty much knew from the jump. As soon as I started playing high school and realized how much fun it was to be in the atmosphere we have here at North Penn, I knew I wanted to play in college. It’s just an amazing experience, and I knew I could get a lot out of it.
“After my sophomore season, a lot of coaches would come in and talk to other players, myself included. I didn’t have any offers sophomore year. My junior year, colleges would see my film, and they would come in and talk to me.
“Going to North Penn is definitely a benefit because coach Beck has all these connections with coaches and colleges from the past, and it puts us in a great position to be recruited.”
What did you enjoy most about your high school football experience?  “Basically, all the friendships that I made and getting to know all these people that I would not have known if I had not played football, that really means a lot to me.”
Coach Dick Beck says:  “Owen was the most heavily recruited of the three. I think he had up to 12 offers. Central Florida and Old Dominion were two of his Division 1A offers. I felt like Villanova would be a good fit for him, and I suggested that he look deep into them. With it being real close to home and the level of football, he thought it would be a good mix for him.
“He can do everything. He runs very well for a 6-4, 220-pound kid. He’ll be one of their faster linebackers. He has outstanding ball skills. He really catches the ball well, he can move laterally. His biggest thing will be putting on more weight. He’s a hard worker in the weight room. He went from 200 to 220 from junior to senior year, and 245 is what you’d think he would be by the second year of college. I can just see him being a dominant player at linebacker.
“I think both Justis and Owen could play multiple positions in college and be successful. Owen could be an h-back/tight end, and he could actually play d-line, and Justis could play safety, corner, slot receiver, wide receiver – he could play any of those positions.”
About Owen:
Favorite food: 
Chicken Pot Pie
Favorite movie:  Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Favorite music:  Rap