Future University of Arkansas football player Reggie Fish will have a busy Saturday - it just won't be doing on the national stage as he had previously planned.
Fish, (5-7, 150, 4.42), a wideout prospect from Mesquite, Texas, will spend Saturday moving his stuff into his new housing in Fayetteville as the mid-term high school graduate prepares to start college two days later.
But if it hadn't been for an season-ending injury, Fish would be one of the 78 standouts playing in Saturday's U.S. Army All-American game at San Antonio's Alamodome, an event that will be televised nationally by NBC.
He earned the invite to the game - who participant choices are made by Scout.com - by being named the Reebok Offensive MVP at the 2004 national junior combine that runs in conjunction with the all-star event.
"Yes, it's pretty disappointing to know that I earned my way there and could be on television getting it done, but will instead be just moving in," Fish said. "But for all the disappointment about not being able to play in the game, that's eased by the excitement I feel about getting my career started at Arkansas."
Allen defensive end Marcus Shavers (6-4, 245), another Arkansas commitment from Texas who was named the Super Athlete award winner at last year's combine, will be playing in the game as will Fort Smith Southside wideout Slick Shelley.
Shavers tried to make his buddy feel a little bit better about things last weekend.
"We had a little going away party for me and Marcus and (fellow Allen standout and Arkansas recruit Casey Dick) came and was really pumping me up about how we were going to have great careers at Arkansas," Fish said. "They said they wished they was going up there with me now. He also said he was going to be playing for the both of us in the U.S. Army Game."
Fish, one of 16 current UA commits for the 2005 class, rushed for over 750 yards and passed for over 400 as a junior while playing quarterback.
He has fought back from a shoulder injury that limited him to 174 yards rushing and 301 passing this season that he accumulated in the two-plus games.
"The rehab is going great," Fish said. "I've almost got all of my range of motion back and it is coming along great. I expect to be 100 percent before too long and would like to go through spring practice if everything's like it should be."
It was the combine where Fish made a name for himself, one that has over 300 players from across the nation and puts the prospects through a variety of tests of skill and agility.
"They ran us in the 40-yard dash, had us go one-one, put us through some agility drills and just basically the things they do at the NFL combine," Fish said. "The guys really get into it because you know so many people are looking on that can help you with your future."
Fish was named the best of the best there last year.
"I was really honored to be chosen, especially when you consider that there were the best players in the country are there from as far away as New York and California," Fish said. " It did a lot for my confidence."
He started being recruited by Arkansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and SMU.
But he named himself a Razorback on August 2 by committing to Arkansas.
"I made a great choice and can't wait to get up there and starting learning the system and getting used to college life," Fish said. "It's going to be a great head start for me and I intend to make the most out of it."
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