Serving Up The Elite
The future of Razorback quarterbacking for some time to come could very well on display at this weekend's Southwest Elite 7-on-7 Championship held at Shiloh Christian's Field of Dreams.
Fayetteville signal caller Austin Allen is a 2013 Arkansas commit, Bolivar (MO) quarterback Rafe Peavey is a 2014 Razorback pledge and Charleston's 2015 rising star Ty Storey is likely to have the home-state school among numerous offers soon.
Another outstanding quarterback slated to participate in the event - that features 24 teams from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Illinois and Nebraska - is Rogers Heritage's Josh Qualls, a 2014 prospect.
All four of those will be on hand for the 24-team event, which starts Friday morning with pool play at 9 a.m. and concludes with a championship game on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m.
"We are certainly excited about all the quarterbacks that we have on hand, especially the two that have already verbally committed to Arkansas," noted Coach Hayden Gilder, the tournament director and a Shiloh Christian assistant. "It just kind of worked out that way for us. We are expecting a great tournament with a lot of great teams."
Fayetteville also has two other Razorback commits in linebacker Brooks Ellis (6-3, 215) and safety Alex Brignoni (6-1, 190).
Allen and Peavy will have their teams matching up in pool play at 11 a.m. on Friday morning.
There's already a mutual respect society going on between the two, who worked out together at Arkansas' camp in June.
"He (Peavey) is great, a good guy and throws a great ball," Allen said after the camp. He looks strong and I heard he is fast. He has all the tools and mechanics to be great."
The younger quarterback liked what he saw of Allen as well.
"He (Allen) is really a good quarterback and a good person, too," Peavy said after committing to Arkansas in June. "It is going to be fun to go against him the next few years."
There are also several other 2013 players that the Razorbacks have shown interest in including the Broken Arrow duo of cornerback Cre Moore and athlete Cameron Wren as well as their 2014 teammate Devon Thomas, a top tailback that rushed for over 1,800 yards last season.
There's also senior recievers Nick Byrne of Har-Ber, A.J. Tucker of Little Rock Central and Baylor commit Joseph Harvey of Sherman, Texas.
Previous champions are Shiloh Christian (2009), Razorback wide receiver signee D'Arthur Cowan and Olive Branch, Miss. (2010) and Bentonville (2011), who is not back this season to defend its championship.
"The level of play all three years has been extremely high and it is just going to get even better this year," Gilder said.
Other Arkansas teams besides the aforementioned slated to compete are Arkansas Baptist, Conway Christian, El Dorado, Green County Tech, Harrison, Hot Springs Lakeside, Jonesboro, Mayflower, Mena, Mountain Home, Nashville and Springdale.
The other Oklahoma prep teams are Bishop McGuinness, Heritage Hall, McAlester, Stillwater and Tulsa Victory Christian.
Texas has Sherman and Tennessee has Brighton while Nebraska is represented by Aurora and Giltner while Illinois' lone squad is Aurora Christian.
Aurora Christian is coached by former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Don Beebe.
"We are trying to make this a little bit more of a national tournament by inviting teams from the different states," Gilder said. "We are happy with the ones we got, but had contact with even more and it was just not good timing for them this year.
"We want to keep bringing the best Arkansas teams we have and then have a goal of bringing in the best around the country also," Gilder added.
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