Blessed New Year

Former North Little Rock star and two-time first-team Junior College All-American linebacker Martrell Spaight (6-0, 220) talks about how blessed he feels about his chance to play for Arkansas next season.

A new year brings a dream realized for former North Little Rock linebacker Martrell Spaight.

Spaight (6-0, 220), coming off a season in which he was named a first-team Junior College All-American for the second straight year and the Jayhawk Conference Defensive Player of the Year, signed with Arkansas back on Dec. 19.

He was committed to Kansas State before new Razorback head coach Bret Bielema offered Spaight just four days before the national signing date opened.

"I feel truly blessed," Spaight said. "Growing up in Arkansas and being a fan all I ever wanted to do was to go to Fayetteville and be a Razorback. It looked like that was not going to happen, but it's crazy how it worked out late for me. I got presented with this opportunity and I am going to make the most of it."

Spaight had a whopping 130 tackles with 13.5 tackles for lost yardage, 1.5 sacks, three pass break-ups, a forced fumble and a blocked kick.

That after a freshman season in which he had 101 tackles, nine tackles for lost yardage, 1.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

"I think I became a much better player while I was at Coffeyville and I continue to work hard every day to be the best I can be," Spaight said. "The fact that I am now going to get to do it wearing an Arkansas jersey just makes it that much more special."

Spaight, who also took official visits to Ohio State and Rutgers, is schedule to make his official visit to Arkansas in January.

He will not be able to join the Razorbacks at mid-term because he has to take a math class, which he says he will do at Arkansas Baptist in Little Rock.

"I could have gone to Kansas State right away and not had to take that math class, but it's really not that big of a deal," Spaight said. "You have to give up something to get something and I think it is well worth it in the end."

Spaight is hoping that there is a way that he can still make it to Arkansas for spring practice.

"I still have to talk to Coach Bielema about that, but I think there is a way to get it done," Spaight said. "I think that would be a great thing if I could do that."

He will have a Coffeyville teammate next season at Arkansas in quarterback A.J. Derby, who had 2,003 yards total offense for the Red Ravens last season.

"It's going to be good to have him along," Spaight said. "We both are real excited about a chance to play in the SEC and get It done for Arkansas."

Martrell Spaight

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