Arkansas fans in Texas will be able to get an early glimpse of a future Razorback this summer.
Austin (Texas) Lake Travis three-star wide receiver and Arkansas class of 2017 commit Maleek Barkley helped the Cavaliers qualify for the Texas State 7on7 Tournament last weekend.
The tournament, which is held July 8 and 9 in College Station, will allow Barkley and his teammates to focus on fundamentals without worrying about going full-contact.
“It was really fun. We all got after it,” Barkley said. “7on7 is always fun for us. We always enjoy it because we don’t have much hitting in it, so we can do the extra stuff that we like to do.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to show everyone in Texas what we can do this season.”
Texas 7on7 rules forbid high school coaches from interacting with their players, leaving the kids in charge of calling plays, substitution and all other aspects coaches would normally control.
“I think that actually benefits us a lot because we know what we can do and what we need to work on during that time,” Barkley said. “The quarterbacks are confident in themselves where they call their own plays a feel comfortable.”
The competition will allow Barkley – who caught 55 passes for 693 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 617 yards and 10 touchdowns last year – to work on several aspects of his game.
“Most definitely (I want to work on my) explosiveness, coming out of my cuts faster, hitting the hole and being the best player I can be,” Barkley said.
Barkley is being recruited by Arkansas wide receivers coach Michael Smith, who he says he has a close relationship with.
“We’re really close and talk about everything,” Barkley said. “We’re both on the same page; he understands me and I understand him.”
After committing to Arkansas without visiting, Barkley got his first look at Fayetteville in April. He saw enough to make him want to return for another visit later this summer.
“Hopefully I can get down there this summer, for sure, and come down and look around to get a better feel for it again for my second visit,” Barkley said. “I’m going to make that one of my main plans this summer.”