Talent abounds in Warren, Camden.
Each team features three players who are known to be high on the recruiting lists of not only the Arkansas Razorbacks, but several Division I schools. Two players from Camden Fairview, quarterback Jim Youngblood and running back De'Anthony Curtis, and one from Warren, do-it-all athlete Basmine Jones, have already pledged to sign with the Razorbacks in February on national signing day. Fairview also features highly touted lineman Lavunce Askew, while Warren returns stellar big-play offensive stars Jarious Wright, a quarterback, and Greg Childs, a lanky receiver, from last year's Class 4A state runner-up.
But top college prospects in Arkansas aren't limited to the southern part of the state. In fact, the 2008 signing class from top to bottom could be the best in the state's history. Arkansas has received oral commitments from three other players in this group: Pulaski Academy wide receiver Cruz Williams; gargantuan Russellville lineman Matt Hall, who transferred from Dardanelle during the off-season; and 310-pound offensive guard Austin Eoff from Fort Smith Northside.
The state's top prospect is likely Central Arkansas Christian's Joe Adams, who has received 17 scholarship offers, including one from perennial national championship contender Southern California and its coach, Pete Carroll. USC signed Broderick Green, a running back from Pulaski Academy.
Adams is regarded as extremely dangerous in the open field with his speed and cutting ability. CAC coach Tim Perry said recently he's willing to use Adams wherever he's needed this season, including quarterback, running back or his natural wide receiver spot, where he'll likely end up in college. Adams was named the most valuable player at the Fort Worth, Texas, Nike camp earlier this summer.
Tyler Wilson, one of the state's best passers who led Greenwood's 5A state championship team, has received overtures from many big-name schools--Alabama coach Nick Saban visited during the team's week of spring practice in May. But he's only gotten only passing interest from Arkansas, which has received commitments from quarterbacks Youngblood and Dodge City, Kan., prospect Kale Pick. It does not appear the Hogs will offer Wilson, who like Youngblood is a baseball standout as well. Wilson reports offers from Bama, LSU, Arizona and Oregon.
While Warren's Wright plays quarterback for the Lumberjacks, he'll most likely end up as a wide receiver or cornerback in college. Childs will remind longtime Arkansas fans of Keith Kidd and Bobby Duckworth--tall, speedy ends who came out of south Arkansas.
Fairview's Curtis was the first running back to commit to Arkansas during the summer. Orlando, Fla., prep standout Thomas Shuler, a bruiser at 5-11 and 235 pounds with the ability to bench press 435 pounds, soon followed. Arkansas is likely to take one more running back, and Houston is reportedly versatile enough in a Peyton Hillis mold to play several backfield positions. Curtis, meanwhile, brings a bruising style with great speed.
Pulaski Academy's Williams is likened to current Hog wideout Marcus Monk, but with more speed. Williams was the MVP in a 7-on-7 tournament in Nashville, Tenn., and the Shootout of the South 7-on-7 tourney in Little Rock this summer.
Askew, the top lineman prospect in Arkansas, can bench press 375 pounds and squats 430. Another Rogers lineman is following last year's top state player, Auburn-bound Lee Ziemba, out of Arkansas, but Jake Byrne is headed to Big Ten country, having committed to Wisconsin earlier this summer.
Arkansas State has offers out to several on the AS360.com Top 20, including Bentonville lineman
Bryant Newell, who was the top offensive lineman in the Houston Nutt Seniors Camp at Fayetteville this summer, and defensive back prospect Marquis McFadden of Pulaski Robinson, who is Hog star Darren McFadden's cousin and will wear No. 5.
Top 20 prospects Through a variety of sources, including high school coaches and sports writers, ArkansasSports360.com determined the top 20 college prospects for the 2007 high school season: Rank Name, School Pos. Ht./Wt./40-yd. time 1. Joe Adams, Central Arkansas Christian WR-RB 6-1/178/4.49 2. De'Anthony Curtis, Camden Fairview# TB# 5-10/210/4.41# 3. Jarious Wright, Warren QB-WR-DB 5-11/175/4.36 4. Cruz Williams, Pulaski Academy# WR# 6-4/205/4.49# 5. Lavunce Askew, Camden Fairview DL 6-3/268/4.8 6. Jim Youngblood, Camden Fairview QB 6-3/215/4.69 7. Matt Hall, Russellville# OL# 6-10/320/5.6# 8. Taylor Stockemer, Van Buren WR/RB 6-4/205/4.5 9. Tyler Wilson, Greenwood QB 6-3/185/4.75 10. Jake Byrne, Rogers TE 6-5/240/4.6 11. Greg Childs, Warren WR 6-4/200/4.5 12. Austin Eoff, FS Northside# OG# 6-5/310/5.3# 13. Dennis Johnson, Texarkana RB 5-8/180/4.35 14. Bryant Newell, Springdale Har-Ber OT 6-7/298/5.3 15. Jeff Little, Watson Chapel LB 6-2/220/4.49 16. Basmine Jones, Warren# ATH# 6-0/200/4.5# 17. Hunter Miller, Sylvan Hills QB 6-2/185/4.57 18. Marquis McFadden, Pulaski Robinson DB 5-11/180/4.39 19. Taylor Barnes, Bentonville OL 6-5/300/5.4 20. Kevin Puckett, Vilonia QB 6-4/195/4.9 (Bold Indicates University of Arkansas commitment) Note: Bold Indicates University of Arkansas commitment indicated with #.
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|Date:||Jul 30, 2007|
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