Just like he may be doing in a couple of years, North Little Rock junior tailback Altee Tenpenny is racing across the SEC.
Tenpenny (5-11, 200, 4.43) participated in Arkansas' camp on Saturday, got in a car with his coach and headed to Alabama, where he will visit on Sunday. The 2013 prospect will then go to Auburn on Monday or Tuesday.
The young man, who already has offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn, has blown up this summer after a solid sophomore season in which he rushed for 1,232 yards and 15 touchdowns.
"I just keep giving thanks to God because without him I wouldn't be here," Tenpenny said. "'Philippians 4:13 (says) I ‘can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me' so all things go to him."
In addition to getting the three offers this spring and summer, he was also one of only three juniors invited to "The Opening" – a Nike sponsored gathering of 150 of the nation's best players in Beaverton, Oregon.
"It was fun, especially for somebody my age," Tenpenny said. "I was the youngest one down there of 150 elite athletes, which was a blessing. It was a good learning experience, fun and I got to kick it with the big dogs, kick it with the elites and learn from pros and just enjoyed myself."
Tenpenny, also getting interest from Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah, grew up a Razorback fan and likes what is going on with the program.
"Arkansas is a great school and has a great football program," Tenpenny said. "They are an upcoming BCS team and they have a chance to make some noise this year and be there for the BCS title. I am looking at them."
He was making his second straight July appearance at Arkansas' camp.
"I learned a lot of new stuff that helped me on my footwork and learned a couple of routes coming out of the backfield," Tenpenny said. "It was fun and a good learning experience.
"…I came here last year – my freshman going into my sophomore year – so I kind of knew what they expect," Tenpenny added later. "The heat kind of drained us a little bit so you just had keep working and keep in the back of your head what you are working for."
Being at Arkansas gave Tenpenny a chance to work with Arkansas running backs coach Tim Horton, his lead recruiter.
"Coach Horton is a good coach," Tenpenny said. "He was helping us on how to hold the ball properly, how to break tackles, get through tackles, how to cut, how to get loose. He is a good running back coach. He helps us out a lot."
Horton made it a point to stress to the backs about being the hammer instead of the nail.
"As he said, offense wins and you have don't have to just take the hit, you can deliver the hit sometimes, too – like some of the other backs he coached (now in the NFL) in Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis," Tenpenny said. "You can see right now they are being the hammer."
Tenpenny was quoted as saying Alabama was his number one school in a Scout.com story on Friday, but he says that was a misunderstanding.
"All schools are now number one because I am just a sophomore going into my junior year," Tenpenny said. "I am really just right now leaning toward every school to see what they have to offer and hear what they are talking about. To see how they will be by the time I am there. To see if will have an experience line."
Tenpenny knows he is going to have some great schools to choose from when he does make a decision.
"I already know all the schools that want me and they all have great coaches, great coaching staffs, coaches with experience," Tenpenny added. "So it (leaning toward Alabama) is not really accurate. I am leaning toward all the schools."
Tenpenny was joined at the Arkansas camp by a double-digit amount of teammates, ones he thinks are going to give North Little Rock a chance to win the 7A state title this season.
"I believe we have the team to do it," Tenpenny said. "We have the talent, we have the size, we have the speed and we've got the coaching. So be looking out for us."
Tenpenny Visits Arkansas
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