SPRINGDALE - In his return to Arkansas, former Wynne quarterback Ross Trail played like a champion.
In fact, the junior signal caller was named the MVP on Saturday evening after leading Olive Branch (Miss.) to its second Southwest Elite Showcase 7-on7 tournament title in four years.
The Conquistadors, who also won the event in 2010, capped a 12-1 tournament run with a convincing 36-9 win over Derby (Kan.) and star tight end DeAndre Goolsby in the championship game.
"It was a long, hot weekend, but it made it all worth it to come out on top," Trail said. "It's a nice bonus (to get the MVP), but our main goal was to win the tournament, not take home individual honors."
Goolsby was named the top receiver in the event.
But the star on this day was Trai (6-2, 200), who split time as a sophomore last season before transferring to Olive Branch this spring and was at Arkansas' Elite Camp in June.
He is hoping that Olive Branch's success will help bring in some more offers to go along with his current ones from Memphis and Louisville.
"Arkansas, Ole Miss have always shown interest and now I have Alabama, Auburn, Iowa State and Missouri are also showing interest," Trail said. "So there is a good bit of them and I sure think this will help me with that.
"It's hard to compare this to real football, but if it helps, that's great," Trail added.
He likes what he has seen out of the new Arkansas coaches.
"I like the new coaching staff," Trail said. "They were very nice to me and seem like they were very excited about me."
Trail played last season at Wynne while completing 38-of-57 passes for 447 yards and six touchdowns and rushing 39 times for 201 yards and five more scores.
He transferred to Olive Branch and was able to go through spring practice with his new teammates.
"It could not have gone any smoother," Trail said. "It's been an easy transition and the coaches are great over there. They have all been very welcoming to me."
Trail has flourished with his new team according to Conquistadors head coach Sam Samsel, who watched him lead the Conquistadors to an 11-0 mark and the North Gwinnett Select 7-on-7 title in Georgia.
"Ross has the potential to be the best quarterback that I have ever coached and that is pretty tall cotton," Samsel said. "He is just a solid, solid person and not just a good football player, but a real high character kid. You have got to give the parents credit there because the apples don't fall too far from the trees.
"He is just a real smart kid and his dad (Rusty) was a quarterback at the University of Memphis so he comes to us with a lot going for him," Samsel added. "I think our offensive schemes are also well-suited for him and it is going to be exciting to watch him the next two years."
Olive Branch had the fifth seed going into Saturday, but won all six of its games on the day.
That meant they were able to come out victorious over a 32-team field in the two-day event.
Derby was the runner-up while Broken Arrow was third and Hoover fourth.
The top eight teams also included top-seed Fayetteville, Har-Ber, Rogers Heritage and Charleston with 2015 Arkansas quarterback commit Ty Storey.
"Well, 7-on-7 is a great thing for us when you talk about any opportunity to compete," Samsel said. "It is also great conditioning for us, but it is kind of like comparing putt-putt to the PGA. We got real football coming up in a couple of weeks, but any chance we get to be in the arena and compete is a great thing for our kids.
"What we try to do with 7-on-7 is answer a lot of questions where maybe there will be a new face or a young kid that hasn't been a starter before," Samsel added. "As you can see we rotate and get a lot of guys in the game and give them the opportunity to make plays. If they make plays, they are going to help us this fall and if they don't they are going to continue to work to the day when they can make plays for us."
Trail To The Championship
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