CAPITAL CITY TALENT ON RISE

FAYETTEVILLE -- Little Rock McClellan running back Reggie Arnold is off to the best start of his preps career.

On Friday night, he rushed for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns against Little Rock Mills. In three games this fall, Arnold has more than 500 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns.

"It's nice to get out of the gate so early, but it hasn't been just me; my offensive line is great," Arnold said.

"We worked real hard this summer."

Arnold is being recruited by Arkansas, Auburn, Louisiana-Monroe*, Michigan State and Purdue.

"Arkansas and Purdue are the one's recruiting me the hardest, which is just fine with me," Arnold said. "Those are my two early favorites, Arkansas is home and my dad played college football at Purdue. Arkansas has the best facilities, they offer the best of the best."

Arnold runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds.

Arkansas assistant coach James Shibest was in attendance for Friday night's game.

"It was nice to know that coach Shibest came to watch me and Elston Forte (Arkansas verbal pledge) compete against each other," Arnold said. "Elston has already received and accepted an offer from Arkansas, so I'm hoping for one in the mail."

Arnold (5-foot-11, 215 pounds) is being recruited by Arkansas assistant Danny Nutt.

Arnold has plans to start setting-up some of his official visits in the next few weeks.

"I'm going to the Michigan-Purdue game unofficially next month," Arnold said.



SAFETY STILL OPEN

Sylvan Hills High strong safety Hezekiah Smith isn't clear on which college he likes the most, but Arkansas is definitely on his list of schools.

"I'm hearing from quiet a few schools," Smith said. "Arkansas had one of their coaches at my game Friday night, we couldn't talk so I'm not for sure if it was coach Allen or coach Shibest."

Smith is being recruited by Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Rice and Tennessee. He's had an offer from Louisiana-Monroe.

"I'm listening to everyone right now, just kind of keeping my options open," Smith said.

Smith (5-11, 205, 4.6) to an unofficial visit to the Arkansas-Texas game last weekend and came away impressed with Arkansas.

"Arkansas has a young football team, so for them to play Texas the way they did you had to take notice," Smith said. "If you're a recruit, then you know that Arkansas is a program on the rise and the coaches are some of the best in the business."

He's being recruited by Arkansas as a strong safety.

"That's the position that I'd prefer to play in college," Smith said.

Smith has 8 tackles and no interceptions this season.

"Most teams already know not to throw my way, that's why I don't have any picks yet," Smith said.



BRETT BRADLEY COVERS RECRUITING FOR THE MORNING NEWS. HIS COLUMNS APPEAR ON SUNDAYS.

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