Slick and Popsey

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated and The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, Dudley E. Dawson writes about Fort Smith Southside's Slick Shelley and Tulsa East Central's Popsey Floyd.<br><br> This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event on the Arkansas Toyota Dealers website. Click on a banner to find out the details.<br><br>

Slick and Popsey.

It may sound like some new crime-solving, buddy cop show from the Fox network, but it's actually the unique first names of two of the the top high school players in their respective states.

Slick is, of course, is Slick Shelley although the 6-4, 180-pound Fort Smith Southside wideout has achieved that one-name status from football fans in the state of Arkansas.

He's a young man that has caught 49 passes for 542 yards and five touchdowns through the team's first six games, despite missing the opener.

That includes an 11-catch, 136-yard performance in which he found the end zone twice in a 45-41 loss at Rogers on Friday night. One score was on a 11-yard catch in which he shielded the defender from the ball and the other was a 57-yard fly pattern in which outran defenders to paydirt.

"What can you say about Slick?," Southside head coach Barry Lunney said. "He just a talented young man who goes out there and gives us everything he has."

The Rebels fell down by 14 at one point before rallying to actually take the lead before a late Mounties' touchdown got the home team a win. The game ended with Southside throwing a pass into the end zone for Shelly that was intercepted.

"It was all about heart for this team," Shelley said. "If you don't play with heart there is no reason to be out here. We were down a little bit after the Springdale game (a 35-0 loss) and we had some injuries, but we just came out and kept fighting and fighting and it almost went our way at the end."

Shelley, a receiver that Arkansas and several other major colleges covet, has now caught 167 passes for nearly 2,500 yards and found the end zone 36 times in his career.

He is having to go this year without quarterback John Thomas, who formed with Shelley as one of the most potent aerial duos in the state the past two seasons.

Not to mention Shelley, who has been to all three Arkansas games in Fayetteville this season, is battling injuries this season and also playing cornerback because of other players' injuries.

"I've got a sore ankle and my hammy kind of acted up this game, but I didn't pull it," Shelley said. "You've just got to battle through it."

Shelley will try to get to an LSU game this fall and is also considering Tennessee, Florida, Oklahoma State and Tulsa with all but the Gators having put an offer on the table.

"I'm going to take all of my visits in January and then make a decision," Shelley said. "I'm just going to take it all in and make the right choice."

o o o

Popsey is Popsey Floyd, a 6-0, 220-pound defensive star from Tulsa East Central High who racked up five quarterback sacks in his team's 37-14 win over Bishop Kelly.

He lined up at defensive end, middle linebacker and outside linebacker during the game all with an Arkansas coach looking on.

"The paper said I had just three, but I had five and that's what the coaches said, too," said Floyd, who projects as a linebacker . "Things are really coming together for me on defense and we are playing better as a team. I hope I impressed the Arkansas coaches."

Floyd, who will be in attendance at the Arkansas-Georgia game, had 90 tackles and 18 sacks last season and already has 70 tackles and 14 sacks this season.

"My top three are Arkansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State in that order with Tulsa also in there," Floyd said. "I am planning on taking an official visit to Arkansas in December."

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