The first time Vernard Snowden saw Tyrell Henry play football, the youngster was quarterback for Roseville’s JV team.
Snowden was studying the 2018 season movie to learn more about the players he would lead this fall in his first season as a Panthers varsity coach.
“I said to Tyrell, ‘Son, you’re not a quarterback,’” Snowden said. “You’re going to be a Division I athlete as a receiver or safe or something, but you’re not a quarterback. “
“He was reluctant to change his position. “
But Henry did, and today he’s a symbol of pride for Roseville, who celebrated the signing of two players with Division I universities on Dec. 15 – Henry with Michigan State and Malachi Clark with Miami of Ohio.
“It’s a good day for the community and our school district,” Snowden said at the signing ceremony attended by about 50 supporters, including administrators and teachers from Roseville as well as friends and members of the family of players.
“These are two kids from Roseville,” Snowden said in a hall adorned with balls, player jerseys and the 2021 Panthers District Championship trophy. “They came through our system. It’s big, and it’s big for them. They stayed with it.
Henry, who has rarely left the field playing catcher, safety and kicking returns, signed up for Michigan State several months ago.
“I’m excited, anxious and nervous,” said the 6-foot, 171-pound rookie. “It’s surreal, and I’m happy.”
Henry was one of 22 high school players who signed with coach Mel Tucker’s team on day one of the early signing period.
He expects to catch some assists for the Spartans but is ready to fill any role.
“Anything I can do to help the team win, I will do it,” he said.
Clark, who was drafted in Miami by defensive line coach EJ Whitlow, was one of the first 16 signers to head coach Chuck Martin’s club.
“It felt like home,” Clark said of the RedHawks’ Oxford campus. “They treated me like family there.”
The 6-1 Clark already weighs 300 pounds, Snowden said, but the player expects to add bulk before taking the field for Miami.
“The weight room – this is my lab,” said Clark. “This will be my second home.”
Henry, who plans to study graphic design, and Clark, who wants to pursue mechanical engineering studies, have had big football projects for as long as they can remember.
“When I first started playing, when I was a little boy, I thought about playing college football and I had dreams in the NFL,” Clark said.
“I am truly the first man in my family to do what I do. “
Henry said that the “vibe and atmosphere” of MSU convinced him to become a Spartan.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing on the big stage,” he said. “Everything fits together perfectly. This is where I need to be.
Clark starred in the JV in his sophomore and made steady progress, Snowden said.
“He was very, very, very raw,” Snowden said. “He was tall and strong, but he didn’t know how to use his strength.
“Our defensive line coach did a great job coaching him. Miami from Ohio got a good deal.
Snowden can’t wait to see Henry play at Spartan Stadium and have the opportunity to watch Clark at the multiple MAC campuses which are a short distance from Roseville.
“I’m proud of the two children,” said Snowden. “They believed in themselves and in what we were doing. “