Chris Henry, Jr., Jahkeem Stewart are big names in 2026 football recruiting class

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A familiar name for people in the New Orleans area popped up on the recruiting list for the 2026 class.

Chris Henry, Sr. excelled at Belle Chasse High School, earning All State, as well as All Metro MVP IN 2021. He helped the Cardinals reach the state championship game in ’01 after recording 61 grabs for 1,083 yards and 24 touchdowns. The 6-foot-4 athletey also excelled on the hardwood.

As a wideout with West Virginia, Henry had 93 catches for 1,878 yards and 22 touchdowns. The third round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2005 played four seasons in the NFL.

Henry fell out of the back of a truck driven by his fiancee, passing away on December 17, 2009 at age 26.

Fast forward to the present, and Chris Henry, Jr. (6-5, 185) is the No. 1 rated receiver in the 2026, class committed to Ohio State. His older sister Seidi Hicks is a Buckeyes women’s basketball commit for the 2024 class.

Adam “Pac Man” Jones was best friends with Chris Sr. starting when they were teammates at West Virginia. Jones arrived with the Cincinnati Bengals months after Henry’s death. He adopted Henry’s three children and has been heavily involved in the recruitment of Chris, Jr., making some recruiting trips with him.

And speaking of the ’26 class, St. Augustine’s Jahkeem Stewart is a man-child. At 6-6 and 285, he is the class’s second overall rated prospect. Stewart was the top performer at the FBU All-American Freshman game last December. Stewart also was ranked as the top prospect in the Under Armour Regional event in Los Angeles.

Although just a sophomore, he has drawn lots of attention from recruiters far and wide. At age 14, before he even reached high school, Stewart already had offers from Georgia, Ole Miss, Miami and Auburn. Although still early in the process, Alabama, LSU and Texas have gained his attention with Georgia slightly behind that trio.

Stewart camped at LSU last June and made an unofficial visit to campus April 22.

He is expected to draw as much recruiting attention as previous Purple Knight stars Leonard Fournette and Tyrann Mathieu.

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Rene Nadeau


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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to play football at LSU, developing a passion for the game in even greater fashion while in…

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