CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Hurricane Coach Jeremy Taylor has informed the bigger colleges within the state that they will have to offer a scholarship for the services of senior Austin Hensley to attend their school.
The second-year Redskins coach is certainly glad, though, he gets the opportunity to have Hensley's skill set on his team for free.
Hensley, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound quarterback, is coming off an impressive junior season that saw him throw for 2,200 yards, second best of any of the state's returning quarterbacks.
Jarrod Kellar of Class AA Lincoln passed for 2,302 yards, but Hensley is far and away the leading returner in Class AAA with over 600 yards separating him from South Charleston's Kentre Grier (1,549).
Hensley will look to improve on those numbers and lead the Redskins to the playoffs all four of his years at the school when Hurricane opens its season on Friday, Aug. 30 at home against Huntington.
"I told Marshall and WVU 'you're not getting him for free,'" Taylor said. "He is going to play somewhere at the next level. Someone smart will pick him up."
Taylor believes Hensley has all the tools to succeed this season and collegiately.
"He is tall enough, has a cannon for an arm and can run," Taylor said. "He's a leader and brings a drive to win. That drive willed us to a couple wins last year.
Hensley made second team All-State honors last season in Class AAA and was a Daily Mail preseason first team all-state pick.
"Austin coming back is huge," Taylor said. "He led the area in passing. Last year he was the best quarterback in the state, I don't care. He led the best conference in the state in passing."
Hensley has steadily increased his numbers in every season at the helm of the Redskins offense. As a sophomore, he threw for 1,108 yards and 10 touchdowns. Last year, Hensley passed for 2,302 yards and 21 scores.
"His first season, they were more of a running team, and he was just a sophomore," Taylor said. He was just expected to manage the game, not lose it, don't throw interceptions and hand it off mostly.
"Last year, he was expected to win the game and he did that for the most part. He did a good job and never lost any game for us. He did everything we expected and did a great job."