Rogers linebacker Zack Wary has grown up close to the University of Arkansas, but he said his official visit there was a "great experience."
"It's really cool to go to a college campus and be able to experience so much," Wary said. "I really enjoyed the coaches and the players. I think they have a tight-knit group and it was a nice atmosphere."
Wary (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) was hosted by Fayetteville native Brooks Ellis. Ellis recorded 30 tackles in the Razorbacks' final four games as the starting middle linebacker. Wary said he was encouraged by Ellis' success this season.
"It really showed that they will play whoever is the best player and they don't care if you are a freshman or a sophomore," Wary said. "It also shows that early playing time is a real possibility."
Even though Wary said his favorite part of the visit was hanging out with players, he also appreciated the time linebackers coach Randy Shannon invested in him.
"On Saturday, Dwayne Eugene and I went into the meeting room with Coach Shannon and we went over some film and he talked to us and got to know us a little bit, as well," he said. "I liked that a lot. He is a great guy.
"It would mean so much to play for him. It's very exciting to consider the possibility of playing for a coach as high of a caliber as Coach Shannon, knowing all of the accolades he has gotten as a coach and all of the guys he has not only put into the NFL, but then those guys have had so much success like Ray Lewis and Jonathan Vilma."
With an offer to play for the Razorbacks, Wary could join fellow 7A West prospects like Bentonville tight end Jack Kraus and Springdale Har-Ber defensive end Jake Hall at Arkansas. The Razorbacks already have seven former Fayetteville players (Austin Allen, Brandon Allen, Alex Brignoni, Brooks Ellis, Scotty Thurman Jr., Drew Gorton, Demetrius Dean), Bentonville's Dakota Baggett, Springdale's Mitch Smothers and Springdale Har-Ber's Brey Cook on the team as well.
"It shows that there is a lot of talent in the 7A West, for one," Wary said. "There are a lot of players that can play in the Southeastern Conference. And it also shows that Arkansas' coaches want to build a team with homegrown players so to speak."
The Razorbacks had 36 in-state players on its roster for the 2013 season. Arkansas also has seven more Arkansans committed to sign as members of the 2014 and 2015 signing classes. Wary, who is undecided, said it means a lot for in-state prospects to play football close to home.
"Growing up in Northwest Arkansas, everything is about the Razorbacks since there aren't any major professional teams," he said. "If you grow up in this state, that's what you hear about. We see the Razorbacks everywhere you go on TV and stuff. So to be in the uniforms that you have seen since you were a kid, that means a lot."
Wary said he plans to take two more visits following the dead period. He has a visit scheduled at Air Force for the weekend of Jan. 24. He also intends to go to Arkansas State on Jan. 17, but added that could change "depending on a couple of things."
Wary enjoys visit to Arkansas
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