Bledsoe goes for it all

Little Rock Central's Fred Bledsoe tries to lead his team to state title while Arkansas hosts five recruits this weekend.

While one of the University of Arkansas' main recruiting targets goes for a state championship Saturday night in Little Rock, five more prospects will be in Fayetteville taking an official look.

Three of those five - Texarkana noseguard Freddie Barnett (6-1, 300) and the Delta (Miss) Community College duo of wideout Anthony Brown (6-6, 215) and center Skye Peterson (6-3, 295) - have already committed to the Razorbacks.

They will be trying to help the UA coaching staff convince Sweeny (Texas) High cornerback Shedrick Johnson (5-10, 180, 4.4) and Dallas Lake Highlands linebacker Jeremy Campbell (6-1, 215, 4.6) to do the same.

It might not take much for Johnson, who does have visits set up to Syracuse, Houston and Iowa as well, to pull the trigger.

"If everything is how I expect it to be, then I will most likely just go ahead and commit," Johnson said. "It's a place I really like and (UA assistant) Coach (Chris) Vaughn has done a great job of making me feel wanted and knowing they need defensive backs like me to come and play right away."

Campbell, who has made no secret he favors Texas, is also considering Kansas State as well as the Longhorns and Razorbacks.

"I'm just interested in seeing what it's all about," Campbell said. "But you're right in saying that Texas is my favorite."

No doubt all five of those young men would like to be doing what Little Rock Central defensive tackle Fred Bledsoe is this weekend instead and that's playing for it all.

Bledsoe (6-4, 288) and Central (13-0) will face West Memphis at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night for the Class AAAAA championship.

It will be a rematch of the Tigers' 21-8 win over the Blue Devils in the first game of the season. "We started the season against each other and now we are ending it together," Bledsoe said. "Hopefully it will turn out the same way as the first game."

He's excited about playing at War Memorial Stadium, one of the two home stadiums of the Arkansas football team.

"It's going to feel like we are playing in a NCAA Division I game," Bledsoe said. "I think it is going to be a great atmosphere."

Bledsoe, awarded his team's outstanding player award this week, will then turn his attention to recruiting.

He has five visits lined up with Florida (Dec. 12-14), Oklahoma State (Jan. 9-11), Arkansas (Jan. 16-18), Alabama (Jan. 23-25) and Tennessee for the last weekend in January.

"That's a great list of schools there," Bledsoe said. "I'm looking forward to checking them all out."


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