Panthers Attack SW Elite Showcase

It wasn't a Sharknado that hit the Southwest Elite Showcase on Friday morning, but instead Derby (Kan.) star tight end DeAndre Goolsby (6-5, 235) - who visited Arkansas again on Thursday - and his high-flying Panthers racing through their competition with ease with a 3-0 start in pool play.

SPRINGDALE - The only thing hotter than the buzz surrounding cheesy Syfy movie and twitter sensation Sharknado on Thursday night was Derby (Kan.) High tight end and Arkansas recruiting target DeAndre Goolsby and his team on Friday morning.

But unlike a fantasy tornado filled with blood-thirsty Sharks, Goolsby is the real thing and showed it as his Panthers - who averaged 42 points a game last season - breezed to a 3-0 start in pool play as the two-day Southwest Elite Showcase 7-on-7 tournament got underway.

Goolsby (6-5, 235), who could be a mid-year graduate, was a big weapon throughout as Derby ripped Charleston 36-0, overwhelmed Bentonville 42-13 and then downed East St. Louis (Ill.) 33-17 to finish off its trio of morning games.

"We came out here to play and played as a team and got our communication going," Goolsby said. "We let the ball fly and the defense played well and we are looking forward to getting back to it."

Derby will have four games in the afternoon session of pool play – a pair against Oklahoma schools Tulsa Victory Christian and Stillwater and a pair against Arkansas schools Springdale and Shiloh Christian.

"We come to this just for our kids to compete," Derby head coach Brandon Clark said. "I think last year we averaged throwing the ball 12 times a game so we really don't throw the ball that much. So we really just want to see our kids compete and they did that."

Goolsby – who has 66 catches for 1,035 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first two high school seasons - is one of the nation's most sought-after tight ends.

He has offers from Arkansas, Ohio State, Kansas State, Florida, Oregon, Oklahoma, Missouri, Washington and Wisconsin among 11 that have put a scholarship on the table.

"He moves like he is 5-8," Clark said. "He has got great feet, great hips, great hands. But you know what, he is probably a better blocker than he is a pass catcher. He is a complete tight end."

Goolsby, who had 24 catches for 430 yards and 8 touchdowns last season, visited Arkansas earlier this spring and was on campus again to see the Razorback staff and facilities on Thursday.

That included visiting with tight ends coach Barry Lunney, Jr., and wide receivers coach Michael Smith, who coached Goolsby's dad Brian at Kansas State.

"I saw Coach Lunney and Smitty yesterday," Goolsby said. "I have known Smitty since I was born so we have a good connection. Lunney is a cool guy."

Goolsby got a chance to tour the Razorbacks' brand new Fred W. Smith Football Operations Center, which they took ownership of late last week.

"It was good," Goolsby said. "They've got that new facility and I liked it. They have really upgraded a lot. There was a lot of new stuff and it was really nice."

Goolsby, who had a breakout sophomore season with 42 receptions for 605 yards and 11 scores, doesn't seem like he is near making a decision.

"I am still trying to figure things out," Goolsby said. "I am still trying to see a few schools, see where everybody stands right now."

Goolsby has visited Arkansas, Ohio State, Florida and Kansas State unofficially.

"I hope to see Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin still," Goolsby said. "I'm kind of all over the place. I really don't have a (short) list yet because I am still evaluating people."

Clark mentioned that Goolsby is handling the recruiting process well and has a mentor in his dad.

"He is handling it fine," Clark said. "He really is low key and doesn't necessarily like it. He just stays low key and does a good job.

"His dad and I played together and he has been a great mentor to him," Clark added. "He knows the whole game."

DeAndre Goolsby

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