Just in case he had forgotten that he was one of the University of Arkansas' top 2005 recruiting priorities, Marcus Shavers was reminded of that last Thursday in Allen, Texas.
That's Houston Nutt and four assistants - yes, that's five Razorback coaches - showed up for a simple scrimmage in which every one knew ahead of time the 6-4, 245-pound defensive end was only going to get about 10 snaps.
"There were a lot of coaches from different schools, but nothing like that wave of Razorback red there," Shavers said. "They made sure we knew they were there. It's hard to put into words just how much that meant to us. It all but sealed the deal."
Two days later, the deal was sealed - or at least as sealed as a verbal commitment can be when the actual signing date is some 9 months away.
He made the call to Nutt at around 8:15 p.m. on Saturday night.
"They have the greatest coaches in America, I know I can make an impact right away and I will be able to surround myself with the best fans and teammates in the country," Shavers said. "There are just such great people up there in Fayetteville and it's something I want to be a part of so I went ahead and let them know."
Shavers, a young man with a terrific work ethic who had six sacks among his 50 tackles last season, had been intent on getting a decision over with early.
He visited Arkansas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Kansas State on unofficial visits this spring and had been to games last fall at each place as well.
"All of those schools and many others that recruited me all have their positives and there were valid reasons I looked at all of them and considered them seriously," Shavers said, "but in the end, Arkansas just has more to offer for me than anyone else."
Shavers said he was likely headed to Arkansas anyway, but his decision became concrete when the Razorback staff offered Allen quarterback Casey Dick (6-2, 200) a scholarship and the signal caller committed immediately.
"Casey and I are great friends and the fact that he is going to be up there with me makes it that much better," Shavers said. "Arkansas getting a great quarterback out of this deal. After watching him Thursday, I know that Coach Nutt was comparing him to Brett Farve.
"I think that is a great comparision because he is tough, he celebrates like Favre does when we score and he is a great leader," Shavers said. "He is more like a linebacker in a quarterback's body. He will take you on head on and win."
Allen went 13-2 last season before falling in the state semifinals last season and returns four offensive starters and seven defensive ones this year.
"The best thing about this for Casey and myself is that the stress is now over and we can concentrate solely on next season," Shavers said. "It also will allow us to start making the transition from our high school team to our college one right now."
Shavers rides the UA Red Wave
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