Glendora (CA) Citrus College offensive lineman Chris Stringer may be a West Coast kid, but he is all about the Southern hospitality.
Stringer (6-7, 305) – a 2011 prospect who acquired his eligibility late through an NCAA waiver - got to experience some of that this weekend on his official visit to Arkansas.
He came away extremely impressed.
"I just loved it," Stringer said Sunday night. "I really loved that vibe and the atmosphere. From the time I left Dallas and then got off the plane in Bentonville, everybody was just so nice with that Southern hospitality that everybody is always talking about. People already knew my name and were coming up to me and that just blew me away.
"Then I get to the campus in Fayetteville and it's just great," Stringer added. "It had the old style bricks, lots of greenery. Everyone was so laid back. We don't really have that in LA where I am from. It was just wonderful."
Stringer was taking his second official visit after previously trekking to Arizona. He has also taken unofficial visits to USC and UCLA.
He will definitely visit Auburn before making a decision and could also trip to Oklahoma and one other school.
"I got a chance to get a good feel for the coaches and the players and what the football program and school are all about," Stringer said. "I was just really impressed with everything about the place and what they are doing at Arkansas."
He was emphatic about his respect for Razorback offensive line coach Chris Klenakis.
"Coach K is just great at what he does and really knows how to get guys ready to play in college and develop them for the league (NFL)," Stringer said. "He helped invent the pistol and I can really see myself playing for him and getting a lot better because of it."
Stringer got a chance to hang out with current Razorback offensive tackle Jason Peacock – his teammate last season at Citrus.
He also spent time with Araksnas true freshman tackle Brey Cook, the 5-star signee who graduated in December and went through spring practice with the Razorbacks.
"Jason just can't say enough great things about Arkansas, the coaches and the players and the fans," Stringer said. "He is very happy with his choice.
"I ask Brey, why did you come to Arkansas when you could have gone any place in the country?. He said that it was because of the fans here and their loyalty and how he believes that that the Razorbacks have the coaches and the players to compete for the national championship."
Stringer, who will have four years to play three at his next stop, is getting all the recruiting attention because the NCAA granted him a release.
He grayshirted in 2009 - delayed enrollment while not going to school full-time – and then played in 2010 all while accumulating enough credits to graduate in June.
The NCAA waived the rule which said you must be a full-time student for three semesters before transferring because of his success in the classroom.
Auburn has just recently jumped into the mix and Oklahoma is still assessing things.
"I am definitely going to visit Auburn and get that set up this week," Stringer said. "Oklahoma is coming out here to talk to me this week and we'll see what happens there."
Stringer said he wants to take a few more visits and be sure he is making the right decision.
"It's a big one for me," Stringer said. "I had a great visit to Arkansas, a great visit. But I want to go down to Auburn and see what that is like, maybe go to Oklahoma and maybe take one more.
"Then I can be totally sure of what I am doing and where I want to play my college football," Stringer added. "I don't want to rush it. I want to be sure."
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