Garrett Kaufman helped lead Bentonville (Ark.) High School to the state 7A championship game on December 1st. In the game, his team suffered their first loss of the season to Fayetteville. Just three days later, Kaufman, who has been committed to Arkansas State since July, was dealt another tough blow when he found out Red Wolves head coach Gus Malzahn would be leaving to take over at Auburn.
"I don't have too many things to say about it," said Garrett Kaufman. "I'm still trying to make sense of it. I'm going to talk things over with my family and pray on it. I'm still committed to Arkansas State. I've talked to Coach Lashlee and still plan on taking my official visit soon."
Kaufman, a 6-foot-2, 221-pound inside linebacker, told AStateNation.com he is talking with Arkansas, Illinois, Rice, and Georgetown about possible scholarship opportunities if things don't work out at Arkansas State. Time is of the essence for Kaufman, who plans on graduating from Bentonville in December.
In his third season as a starter, Kaufman exuded excellent senior leadership playing the Mike linebacker for a formidable Tiger team. They were undefeated and ranked number one in the state heading into the playoffs with a win over Fayetteville in the final game of the regular season.
"Two of my best games of the year came in the playoffs," Kaufman said. "I had 19 tackles in round one and 16 tackles in round two. This year my confidence was higher having played linebacker as a junior. I felt like I stepped up as a leader and helped bring the sophomores along and brought the team closer together."
Kaufman had 10 tackles in the state championship game played in Little Rock. He began his prep career at running back, but was hampered by a leg injury and Tearris Wallace emerged as the feature back. Kaufman, hwever, wouldn't have it any other way. He now has a passion playing linebacker and is a finalist for Arkansas 7A Defensive Player of the Year.