Future Arkansas offensive lineman Jeremy Ward has been to Fayetteville many times, but never come away feeling like he did this weekend.
Pottsville standout Ward (6-4, 290) raved about the Arkansas basketball team's 66-64 over Michigan, a pep rally held Friday night at Barnhill Arena and a trip to the Catfish Hole on Saturday night.
"I had an amazing time," Ward said. "I have been to Fayetteville many times but it was never like that. I have been to basketball games, but that atmosphere was incredible. It was also the best pep rally I have ever been to with the signs with our names on it.
"The Catfish Hole? Wow. I had never been there before, but it was something special. The food, the fans - it was just incredible."
Ward also got a chance to experience what it would be like on a game day as the team prepares for a contest – including a pre-game speech from Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino.
"It was as if we were about to play Alabama," Ward said. "He went to each individual group. When he came to the offensive line guys, he said ‘we need you to open the holes for the running backs and keep the defensive guys off the quarterback.' It was stuff like that for each group.
"Then he was like ‘let's go beat Alabama' and we left the room and all of the Razorback players were lining the hall," Ward added. "They were shaking our hands and encouraging us and then we were able to go in and put on some jerseys and take some pictures. It was fantastic and then we went out into the stadium and got to see a highlight video. Everybody was fired up."
Ward was doing his best to help Arkansas land Chicago Simeon offensive lineman Jordan Diamond (6-6, 290), another one of the 18 visitors this weekend.
Ward thinks Diamond, who will tell the team of his choice on Jan. 31 but not sign until Feb. 3, will end up being a Razorback.
"I am 95 percent sure of it," Ward said. "He is all about family and he saw that this weekend and loved it. He told me it was down to Arkansas and Michigan."
Another one of the official visitors was Springfield (MO) Hillcrest wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the nation's top-rated recruit according Scout.com.
"I talked to him a little, but he is kind of a quiet guy," Ward said. "But he was having a good time and I am pretty sure he is going to be a Razorback, too."
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