Recruits Impressed with UA Atmosphere

A bevy of Arkansas recruits walk away from the Razorbacks' game with Texas revved up and looking forward to the day that can take the field at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

It should come as no surprise that the atmosphere at the Arkansas-Texas game Saturday night in Fayetteville charged up a few recruits.

The Razorbacks had some 58 prospects on hand for the game, which featured national television cameras and a buzz and electricity beyond what has been reached in Fayetteville before.

"This is what it is all about," Wynne defensive lineman and UA commit Cord Gray said. "Two great programs, a sold out stadium and fans just waiting to explode. I wanted to run out there and play myself."

Gray, a 6-1, 285-pound noseguard, will get that chance next year as he is one of 12 players that have already committed to sign with Arkansas in its 2005 class.

Another UA commit who thinks he could have made a difference if he had been out that Saturday night was 6-1, 210-pound Pulaski Oak Grove tailback Darren McFadden, who rolled up over 230 yards in a 50-20 win over homestanding Atkins.

"I kept thinking to myself we could win this ballgame if I could get out there and hit that hole quick," McFadden said. "It was an incredible night. I just wish we could have pulled it off."

Offensive lineman Travis Olexa (6-4, 295) of Houston's St. Thomas High was also marveling at the event.

"This is very special," Olexa said. "I am very glad to be here and its made a big impression on me."

The same went for Hoxie lineman Drew Gardner (6-5, 305), who came up for the game.

"It's such a great atmosphere with a big-time feel," Gardner said.

Bearden linebacker Ben Owens enjoyed being down on the field before the game and everything about the game except the ending.

"I was thinking they were going to pull it out, but it was a great game and Arkansas really fought hard," Owens said. "They left it all out there and that's all you can ask."

Owens also noted that he was planning to go to a Vanderbilt game in early October and is still considering Arkansas, Memphis, Oklahoma State and Miami, will all the latter offering scholarships.

Texarkana running back Brandon Barnett perhaps summed it up best.

"This is really something," Barnett said. "This is about as good as it gets."

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