The Great Goolsby

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Derby (KS) tight end DeAndre Goolsby (6-5, 235), who visited Arkansas on Monday and came away impressed with what he found.

As someone who has put several tight ends in the NFL recently, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema knows what he likes in one.

He fended off Alabama and Georgia to land prized Pulaski Academy Hunter Henry (6-6, 240) in the 2013 class and has already landed Bentonville's Jack Kraus (6-5, 240) in the 2014 class.

Now Bielema has set his sights on play-making Derby (KS) standout DeAndre Goolsby (6-5, 235), who has caught 66 passes for 1,035 yards and 19 touchdowns the past two seasons.

Goolsby – who has 10 offers already – has returned the interest in the Razorbacks and was in Fayetteville on Monday to check out the Arkansas program.

"I really liked the staff and Arkansas has great facilities and are about to have even better ones," Goolsby said. "We got a chance to walk through the new building (the Fred W. Smith Football Center) and it has just everything you could ever want as a football player to help in your development. I was impressed with everything."

That included the way Bielema uses his tight ends and Barry Lunney, the Razorback tight end coach.

"They told me I would be perfect to use in their tight end/H-back role and that I would see the ball a lot," Goolsby said. "That's what every tight end wants to hear, especially one like me that is used to catching a lot of passes.

"I got a chance to talk with Coach Lunney and he's really cool and I think would be a great coach for me if I end up going there," added Goolsby, who caught 42 passes for 605 yards and 11 touchdowns in a breakout sophomore season.

Arkansas, Florida, Ohio State, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, Washington and Louisville have all offered Goolsby, who expects one from Nebraska soon.

"I am going to be looking at the depth chart of all those schools and where I would fit in and would I have the chance of playing early," Goolsby said. "I want to be very comfortable with a staff and feel like I could trust them. I also want to go a place that throws the ball to the tight end a lot."

He has been to Nebraska for their spring game in addition to seeing Arkansas.

"I also am planning to get to Florida, Ohio State and probably Missouri some time during the summer," noted Goolsby, who had 24 catches for 430 yards and eight scores this past season.

Goolsby is running track this spring for the first time and competes in the 200 and 400 meter dashes and the long jump.

"I think my strengths in football are the fact that I can separate myself from defensive backs and linebackers, can make the catches and that I run good routes," Goolsby said. "This spring with track I tried to increase my speed and I am going to do a lot of speed stuff this summer."

DeAndre's dad Brian played fullback at Kansas State at the same time Arkansas assistant Michael Smith was a star wide receiver for the Wildcats.

He told the Derby Informer that once his son makes a decision he won't keep looking around.

"Once we decide, we don't want to flip-flop and be transferring," Brian said. "It's a big decision in his life and he's got to make the most of it. Whatever he decides, if he feels it's best and he convinces his mother, then we'll go with it."

At the end of last season, five former Wisconsin tight ends that played under Bielema were on an NFL roster.

Those were St. Louis Ram Lance Kendricks, New York Giant Travis Beckum and a trio of Houston Texans - Rogers native Jake Byrne, Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham.

"He obviously knows what he takes to get tight ends in the NFL and made that very clear," Goolsby said. "It was all very impressive."

DeAndre Goolsby

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