Busy Weekend In Arkansas

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson writes about the many football and basketball recruits that will be in Fayetteville and Little Rock this weekend for the Razorbacks' Red-White game and the Real Deal in the Rock AAU Tournament. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.




There are some weekends where there is not much going on in this state when it comes to big sporting events.

This is not one of them.

You've got the Arkansas Derby, the Real Deal in the Rock AAU Tournament, a glimpse at the Arkansas Wings practicing, a plethora of 2012 grid recruiting standouts visiting Fayetteville and of course the nationally televised Red-White game.

Time to saddle up.

The Real Deal in the (Little) Rock kicks things off on Friday night with a look at a few power forwards that Mike Anderson is eying for the 2012 class.

Memphis YOMCA's Jarnell Stokes (6-8, 250), the Georgia Stars' Alex Poythress (6-8, 215), the Atlanta Celtics' Robert Carter (6-7, 240), Ricardo Gathers (6-7, 225) of Brandon Bass Elite.

There's also a couple of younger prospects on the Arkansas Hawks' 16-year-old squad – 2013 point guard I.M. Ready (6-0, 160) and 2014 big man Trey Thompson (6-9, 210) - to get another look at during their 8:30 p.m. game at the Jack Stephens Center.

That game – along with a 7 p.m. match-up featuring Connecticut Basketball and Dream Vision – will be shown on Little Rock television station KATV.

The Arkansas Wings – fresh off their opening weekend in Virginia last weekend – are not involved in the Real Deal as they were last season.

The Wings' 17-year-old team – featuring 2012 prospects Archie Goodwin, Jalen Jackson, Dusty Hannahs and Stetson Billings – will practice in Little Rock over the weekend.

The Wings' 16-and-under team will play an exhibition game Saturday night at 6 p.m. in Springdale at the All-Star Sports Arena.

Saturday will also feature the arrival in Fayetteville for the Red-White game of several 2012 grid prospects, including linebacker A.J. Turner (6-0, 200) of East Poinsett County.

Turner, who also plays for the Wings' 17-and-under hoops team, is expected to commit this weekend to the Razorbacks.

He'll join a group that should include four talented tailbacks in Memphis Wooddale's Jovon Robinson (6-1, 220), Trevon Stewart (5-10, 185) of Patterson, La., Nick Thompkins (5-10, 185) of Snellville (GA) Brookwood and Jonathan Williams (5-11, 225) of Allen, Texas.

Also expected are Louisiana prep offensive lineman Derek Edinburgh (6-8, 330) and the Memphis University High offensive line duo of Ben Still (6-4, 280) and Ben Benton and tight end Blake Jackson (6-5, 235) of Scottsdale (AZ) Community College.

Las Vegas Bishop Gorman offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley (6-7, 285) will be in Fayetteville at some point on Sunday after finishing up playing in the Real Deal on the Rock.

So for yet another year, no Arkansas Derby for me.

I'll be taking The Factor to hold off Caleb's Posse and Archarcharch - just as it happened in the Rebel Stakes.

But I must admit that Sway Away – who had a tooth knocked out last month while coming out of the gate in the Rebel Stakes - continues to call out my name like Mr. Ed.

Would it be too much to ask to spread some of these things out?





A.J. Turner





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