Recruits Discuss USU Game Visits

Arkansas State recruit Devante Williams knew something before everyone associated with the Arkansas State Red Wolves football program did.


The secret he was keeping was that Webb City, Mo., offensive lineman Dalton Ford was about to commit and join the Red Wolves’ fold.

“Yeah he told me when we were standing on the sidelines,’’ said Williams, a running back from Moody, Ala. “It was a great atmosphere. I loved it.”

So not long after the Red Wolves’ 21-14 overtime victory over Utah State Ford told the A-State coaches he too wanted to be part of the A-State program

Williams and Ford was just a couple of recruits on the campus for the big victory. Also there were Tupelo, Miss., linebacker Justin Clifton and Mesquite, Texas offensive lineman Christian Castleberry.

“I loved it all,’’ said Ford. “We got there and went on the tour, met the coaches and I just liked everything about it. They have the new indoor facility going up and with the new press box and new end zone facility that will be built it will be nice.

“I had never been over there. I did some research on my own and I had a little bit of an idea. They are D-1 so I knew the facilities would be nice. It was nice. I met so many nice people. I felt at home.

“And that was an awesome game.”

Ford, who said he is planning a return trip for the Louisiana-Monroe game on Oct. 4, and Castleberry were able to talk briefly.

“It was incredible,’’ said Castleberry. “There is no doubt that is where I want to go to college. That atmosphere was awesome. I have been to some bigger schools in the Big 12 on game day and they don’t have that kinda atmosphere. The band, the students, the guys with their chests painted. You can see there is so much support for the team from the students and the community.”

“I was with my girlfriend and my grandparents and they both loved it also. We know that is where we want to be. I can’t wait to play for the Red Wolves.

The trip to Jonesboro was part of a long day for his family. His brother Antonio Clifton plays for Itawamba (Miss.) College and had a game in Senatobia against Northwest Mississippi. It was his fourth trip to the campus but this first on game day.

“When we first arrived all the stores were painted with Red Wolves and we got closer to the campus you could see all the cars and I knew it was going to be a big crowd,” said Clifton. “You could tell the team has a lot of support. The atmosphere was pretty good. It was awesome.”

The players were also in the dressing room when the new red helmets, which coach Blake Anderson kept hidden in his garage, were waiting on them after pregame warmups.

“Those things are nice,’’ said Williams. “It completely caught me off guard when they got them.

“I’ve never been so hype in my life after the game. Defense played a great game to help the offense finish. My visit was fantastic.”