UA grid camps good for all involved

UA recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn expects some 600 athletes in Fayetteville this week - including some top prospect and some hidden gems - as Houston Nutt's football camps get underway at the University of Arkansas.

When the Houston Nutt Football Camp gets underway this afternoon in Fayetteville, there will be some players Arkansas knows it wants, others that they want a second look at and some unknowns who will grab attention.

Not to mention many others in grades 9-12 who are coming just to get better.

"The biggest thing we are doing with this camp is just trying to help everybody become better football players by teaching them some things that can work on during the summer and take back home," Arkansas recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn said. "But we also get a chance to see some guys we are very interested in show up in person and watch them run, see how tall they really are and how much they way and see what type of agility they have."

Vaughn said one player who took full advantage of the camp a few years ago was Desmond Sims, who started some games at linebacker for the Razorbacks last season and is expected to be a defensive mainstay this season.

"Here is a guy that showed up and was 6-3 and about 190 pounds and was great a phenomenal athlete that we didn't know much about at all," Vaughn said. "But he showed he could run, he showed how tough he was when he got a little banged up and fought through and just impressed everybody on the staff."

Sims is now 6-3, 230 and expected to be out on the field for plenty of action next season.

"We could tell by seeing him up close how he had the frame to put on the weight and we were just able to much better project what he could be like than seeing him in person instead of on film," Vaughn said. "He is the guy that pops to my mind as a perfect example of why it is good to get into camp."

Arkansas is expected many of the state's top players to show up as well as many out-of-state prospects.

One of those is Lockport (Ill.) High quarterback Jake Christensen, one of the nation's top signal callers, who will make it for a portion of the camp.

"We are going to be able to get down there and likely be there for him to throw and do some things on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning," notes Jeff Christensen, an 8-year NFL quarterback and Jake's dad. "We are very interested in Arkansas and just think they have a great program and great coaches who care about Jake as a person as well as someone who could help them on the football field."

The camp will get underway with registration at 2 p.m. on Sunday and conclude Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. and give way to a junior high individual camp.

The Razorbacks also have another Seniors only camp set up for July 23-24.

"Since they have to pay to come, it's always hard to know who is going to show up for what, but we expect to have the same great turnouts we have had in the recent years when we have had some record numbers," Vaughn said. "It is something that the coaches and players are all looking forward to and something that we take a lot of pride in."

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