As one of 15 players officially visiting the University of Arkansas this weekend, Little Rock's Fred Bledsoe is looking forward to getting the full treatment and the full-court press from Razorback coaches.
Bledsoe, a 6-5, 295-pound defensive lineman, has already taken official treks to Tennessee and Oklahoma State, and now bounces up to check out some familiar surroundings in a little more depth.
"I think it's going to be off the hook," Bledsoe said. "As you know I have been up there a lot, but it's never been on an official visit and that is when the coaches and the school put their best foot forward. I think it's going to be a lot of fun, especially since I have a lot of good friends going as well an d they are showing Central Arkansas the love this weekend."
Bledsoe, who has a basketball game tonight, will arrive in Fayetteville late tonight after being picked up via an Arkansas school plane that will also bring Central teammate Fred Fairchild (6-3, 190), the Little Rock Parkview duo of tight end Marc Winston (6-7, 235) and Jamaal Anderson (6-5, 205) and West Memphis running bak Kyle Payne (6-1, 205).
"That's a good group of guys and I think it shows just how much they respect the football down here in Central Arkansas," Bledsoe said. "We've got a lot of good players down here that can start making the program better like they used to back in the day."
Anderson has already committed to the Razorbacks while Bledsoe, linebacker Fairchild and Winston are all still weighing their options.
Payne has not yet been offered a scholarship, but may still be and is also weighing an option to walk on as well as scholarship offers from other schools.
Bledsoe, who plans to play the drama for all it's worth by announcing at 4 p.m. on the national signing day of Feb. 4, admits his first two trips have been impressive.
"I have to be honest, both Tennessee and Oklahoma State have made it clear how much they wanted me and they were both great trips and they both have great coaches and just general great programs," Bledsoe said. "But I know that is true about Arkansas as well. Their coaches have told me I am one of their main, need-to-get guys and how I could be a star if I will just work hard and get it done."
Bledsoe had 91 tackles this season and intercepted three passes, one he returned for a touchdown in Central's state championship final win over Payne and West Memphis.
He said what he is looking for in a college football is quite simple.
"I am looking for coaches that will put their foot down on me, basically put their foot up my butt and push me and make me the best player I can be," Bledsoe said. "I am a young man just trying to make it, get a good education, become a great football player, hopefully play in the NFL one day but if not still be a success in life."
Some of the players already committed to Arkansas such as quarterback Alex Mortensen have been calling Bledsoe to try and get him on board.
"That's pretty cool that a guy who could be the future starting quarterback would take time to call me and tell me how important I am to the future success of the program," Bledsoe said. "That means a lot."
Bledsoe knows that Razorback fans would like him to not only commit to Arkansas, but do it now.
"But I am just going to think about all this after this trip," Bledsoe said. "I am going to pray on it and be sure. Then we are going to have a big old party down here in the Rock on signing day and let the word out then."
In addition to the five Arkansas guys already mentioned, Arkansas will host a quintet of players already committed to the Razorbacks.
They are the Fayetteville High duo of wideout Cedric Logan (6-0, 170) and quarterback-safety Woody Wilson (6-1, 180), Tulsa Union linebacker Zach Snider (6-3, 220) , Texarkana (Texas) High running back Korey Sutton (5-10, 195) and cornerback Dallas Washington (6-0, 193) of Atlanta, Texas.
Another name back in the mix for Arkansas and also visiting this weekend is Euless (Texas) Trinity High safety Desmond Williams (6-2, 205).
The UA staff will also host a quartet of walk on candidates in Fort Smith Southside kicker Jeremy Davis (5-10, 170), Conway's Collin Sears (6-5, 305) and Sam McFaddin (6-2, 210) and Pulaski Academy wideout John Aaron Rees (6-1, 201), whose dad played for the Razorbacks.
Official visitors for Jan. 23-25:
1. Jaamal Anderson (6-5, 205), ATH, Little Rock Parkview
2. Fred Bledsoe (6-5, 295), DL, Little Rock Central
3. Jeremy Davis (5-10, 170), K, FS Southside
4. Fred Fairchild (6-3, 190), LB, Litttle Rock Central
5. Cedric Logan (6-0, 170), WR, Fayetteville
6. Sam McFaddin (6-2, 210), LB, Conway
7. Kyle Payne (6-1, 205) RB, West Memphis
8. John Aaron Rees (6-1, 201), WR, Pulaski Academy
9. Collin Sears (6-5, 305), OL, Conway
10. Zach Snider (6-3, 220), LB, Tulsa (Okla.) Union
11. Korey Sutton (5-10, 195), TB, Texarkana (Texas) High
12. Dallas Washington (6-0, 193), CB, Atlanta, Texas
13. Desmond Williams, (6-2, 205), 4.5 Euless (Texas) Trinity
14. Woody Wilson (6-1, 180), QB-S, Fayetteville
15. Marc Winston (6-7, 235), TE, Little Rock Parkview
Arkansas' Commitments (23)
1. Jamal Anderson, WR-TE-DE, 6-5, 205, 4.6 Little Rock Parkview
2. Freddie Barnett, DL, 6-1, 300, 5.0, Texarkana
3. Anthony Brown, WR, 6-6, 215, 4.52, Delta (Miss.) CC
4. Rick Culbert, CB, 6-0, 170, 4.4, Vidor (Texas) High
5. Weston Dacus, LB, 6-2, 225, 4.65, Searcy
6. Cody Green, OL, 6-5, 302, 5.2, Cullman (Ala.) High
7. Marcus Harrison, OL-DL, 6-4, 300, 5.0, Hargrave (Va.) Military School
8. Peyton Hillis, FB, 6-3, 240, 4.7, Conway
9. Shedrick Johnson, CB, 5-10, 180, 4.4, Sweeny, Texas
10. Randy Kelly, S, 5-11, 175, 4.4, Coffeyville (Kan.) CC
11. Cedric Logan, WR, 6-0, 170, 4.3, Fayetteville
12. Jonathan Luigs, OL, 6-4, 302, 5.0, Pulaski Academy
13. Marcus Monk, WR, 6-6, 210, 4.5, East Poinsett County
14. Alex Mortensen, QB, 6-2, 180, 4.72, Fairburn (Ga.) Landmark Christian
15. Jeremy Palmoore, OL, 6-6, 310, 5.2. Hargrave (Va.) Military School
16. Skye Peterson, OL, 6-3, 295, 5.0 Delta (Miss.) CC
17. Zach Snider, LB, 6-3, 215, 4.6, Tulsa (Okla.) Union
18. Korey Sutton, RB, 5-9, 195, 4.5, Texarkana (Texas) Texas High
19. Michael Tate, DE, 6-4, 245, 4.6, Tulsa Booker T. Washington
20. Darius Vinnett, CB-KR, 5-9, 170, 4.26, West Hills (Calif.) CC
21. Dallas Washington, CB, 6-0, 193, 4.4, Atlanta, Texas
22. Ivory Williams, CB, 5-9, 165, 4.3 Houston (Texas) Beaumont
23. Woody Wilson, QB-FS, 6-1, 180, 4.62, Fayetteville
Bledsoe, Winston among 15 grid visitors
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