Hoxie offensive lineman Drew Gardner did not try to downplay how much he enjoyed the atmosphere at last Saturday night's Arkansas-Texas game in Fayetteville.
"Man it was awesome," Gardner said. "I just wish Arkansas could have won. But it was the greatest thing I have ever done or been a part of."
Gardner (6-5, 305) was one of nearly 60 Razorback prospects on unofficial visits who got a chance to stand on the sidelines before the game and take everything in during what turned into a 22-20 thriller before a school-record 75,671 fans.
"I went to Iowa last season for a game and it doesn't come anywhere near what they have going on at Arkansas," Gardner said. "The crowd was so loud and so supportive and it is just a big-time college football atmosphere that anyone would be proud to be a part of."
Gardner hopes he gets the chance to be a Razorback, but as of yet does not have an offer from Arkansas as they continue to evaluate him along with Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Arkansas State- all six who are recruiting him.
"Arkansas told me to just go out, work hard and have a good senior season and if that happens there would be something for me," Gardner said. "So that's what I am trying to do. That's really what the other major schools have said as well."
Hoxie is off to a 2-0 start with wins over Walnut Ridge and Trumann, a 31-6 victory in which the Gardner-led offensive line rolled up 467 yards rushing.
"Usually we are more balanced and we did drop three touchdown passes, but basically we just lined up and it was working so there was no reason to go away from it," Gardner said. "We rolled up over 500 yards total offense and that's a pretty good feeling. Our defense is also playing well and hasn't given up over 100 yards rushing in any game going back to our scrimmage as well."
He made it to camps at Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vandy and Memphis during the summer.
"It really was fun going to the camps and I learned a lot that I am trying to put to use this season," Gardner said.
Hoxie was picked third in the Class 2AAA race behind Newport and Pocahontas by Hooten's Arkansas Football magazine and that didn't set well with Gardner.
"I think that's bullcrap," Gardner said. "I think we have a great chance to win the conference championship. This is a group of guys that have been together for a long time and we believe in ourselves."
He'll be on hand for Arkansas State's game with No. 25 Memphis on Saturday.
"I am just trying to go see some games and take things in," Gardner said. "But no matter where I go I don't thing anything will ever match Arkansas and what they had Saturday night. I would really like to be a part of that."
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