LITTLE ROCK - They once hooked up for a plethora of big-time plays for the Razorbacks, but this weekend one was coaching high school kids and the other was watching him do so at the Shootout of the South.
Former Arkansas wide receiver Anthony Lucas is now coaching for Pulaski Academy while Clint Stoerner – the quarterback who found him 137 times during college - was lending support for his buddy.
"The world has no idea how excited I am, I am so very excited," Lucas said. "It is something I have been praying about for about a year. I was just waiting for God to open the right door for me so I could get this opportunity to coach."
Lucas, who has been the facility coordinator for D1 Sports Training and Therapy in Little Rock, is now coaching wide receivers for head coach Kevin Kelly at traditional Arkansas power Pulaski Academy.
The Bruins won their third straight Shootout title with a 29-26 win over Watson Chapel in the final.
It's the perfect pre-Father's Day present for former Tallulah (LA) prep star Lucas, whose has a 15-month old daughter named Kassidy with his wife Devae.
"I am honored and I am humbled to be able to come work for Coach Kelly and PA," Lucas said. "I am just so pumped and ready to get going and try to help these guys. We've got some talented guys and I just want to make them better both on the field and off the field."
Stoerner, who has his own insurance agency in addition to tutoring quarterbacks and appearing on the radio, is very happy for his former Razorback and Dallas Cowboy teammate.
"I'm glad he did it," Stoerner said. "He is in a great place with a winning tradition with a head coach that rules the roost. He'll handle all the other stuff and let Anthony just do what he does well."
Stoerner and Lucas are forever linked – as evidence by how many times they get stopped by Razorback fans.
They are most remember for the biggest play in a 28-24 home win over No. 5 Tennessee, a 23-yard touchdown pass with 3:44 left that proved to be the game winner in 1999.
It came a year after a last-minute loss to the Vols in Knoxville when the two teams were unbeaten late in the season.
There was also a 47-yard touchdown connection between the two from the Arkansas 1-yard line that was a key play in a 27-6 win over Texas in the 2000 Cotton Bowl.
"I think if you put the whole thing in perspective, I think Anthony and I are probably the most known duo for many reasons, but mostly for that second Tennessee game," Stoerner said. "When we are together, we get stopped all the time…It's like it was yesterday. That's part of being in Arkansas. It's great and I don't think that is ever going to go away."
The two also spent some time together with the Cowboys before Lucas' injury problems caused him to retire.
Stoerner – a Baytown (Texas) Lee high school star - played five seasons in the NFL, four with the Cowboys from 2000-2003 and then one season with the Miami Dolphins.
Lucas was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2000, but saw his rookie season end with an anterior cruciate tear.
He spent 2001 on the Cowboys practice squad and likely would have made the team in 2002, but suffered a knee injury in preseason camp.
"I was able to hang around with the Cowboys for awhile and it was even sweeter when Anthony came on that last couple of years," Stoerner said. "He had to end it with the knee injury, but it was sweet to play with him.
"I use to tell Luc that if it wasn't for him at Arkansas we wouldn't have been any good and if it was for me at Dallas, he wouldn't have gotten any recognition," Storner added. "We were both on the scout team and Mike Zimmer – who is now with Cincinnati – asked me ‘would you please quit throwing to your receiver every card I show you?' It was unfortunate how it ended, but we had a good time while it lasted."
Both of the former Razorbacks think Arkansas is in for a big season in 2012 despite the ouster of former head coach Bobby Petrino.
Lucas worked Arkansas' football camp this week and also got a chance to see the current Razorbacks – such as quarterback Tyler Wilson and wideout Cobi Hamilton – go through a voluntary workout.
"There is a whole lot of talent there," Lucas said. "I am just so ready to see those guys in action. I was there last week and watched Cobi run routes and Tyler Wilson is a general. He ran those 7-on-7 (voluntary) workouts like a champ. He reminds me of Clint Stoerner so much in his leadership and just taking over."
Stoerner said the loss of Petrino has not diminished his expectations at all.
"My expectations are the same as they were before all the turmoil," Stoerner said. "I think Tyler Wilson, Knile Davis and Cobi Hamilton and Chris Gragg have all not just said it, they have shown that they are going to lead the team and keep the ship going in the right direction in the locker room.
"That's the biggest thing," Stoerner added. "No matter whether you have a good coach or a bad one, if there has been a change or not been one, if you have someone running your locker room, the chance of being consistent is better. I am more comfortable about those guys taking care of it than anything. I think they've got it handled."
The pair also talked about Arkansas' new Pro-Combat uniforms that were unveiled Wednesday after much speculation.
"The new uniforms are just amazing," Lucas said. "I am not big, big, big on change, but I like new stuff that looks good."
Stoerner agreed and had a story that resonated with him on the need for change.
"Personally I really like the change," Stoerner said. "I understand the tradition and a lot of fans' concerns about changing logos and colors and uniforms. But outside of about five schools in the country, you have to keep up pace with those guys by doing some different things. I think uniforms – unfortunately - are one of those things.
"I have about 45 quarterbacks that I train in the Little Rock area," Stoerner added. "Two of them consistently wear Oregon stuff. I ask them why - one is 12 and one is 14 – and the reason is because of Oregon's uniforms. They told me Oregon has sweet uniforms and 35 different ones.
"Here we are in Arkansas in mid-June talking about Oregon's uniforms so whoever designed those uniforms did a hell of a job," Stoerner continued. "It obviously works with the kids. If it gives us an edge, I am all for it."
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