Red-Hot Beverage

After an MVP performance in last week's All-American Bowl Classic, strong safety/linebacker Chad Beverage (6-1, 235, 4.55) will now visit Arkansas - possibly as soon as this weekend.

Louisiana prep football star Chad Beverage got a call on Wednesday that he was very excited to take.

In fact, it was one the Airline High strong safety - who was named the East Defensive MVP in Max Emfinger's All-American Bowl Classic last Thursday in Shreveport - had been waiting on for a long time.

It came from University of Arkansas head football coach Houston Nutt, the leader of a football program that Beverage has been enamored with for a long time.

"It was great to have Houston Nutt call me today and tell me that he wants me to take a visit to Arkansas," Beverage said. "I really like Arkansas and I would love to play football there."

Beverage (6-1, 235, 4.55), a standout who had 98 tackles this season at Bossier City (La.) Airline High after two years at Parkway High, will likely now visit Fayetteville this weekend along with 12 other official visitors.

"They had wanted me to come up first on January 28, but I told them that Jan. 21 would really work better for me," Beverage sid. "I'm suppose to call back (Thursday). They are trying to get everything arranged for me. Hopefully it can all get worked out and I can get up there."

He is already scheduled to visit Memphis on Jan. 28-30. Memphis offered early this week and Louisiana Tech on Wednesday, but Arkansas has yet to do so.

"They are telling me right now that although they are very interested in me, they don't have a scholarship at the moment," Beverage said. "Things might change. I hope they do. I told them if there was a free ride, I would definitely be coming to Arkansas. It is where I want to play."

If Arkansas is unable to offer a scholarship, Beverage did not rule out being a possible grayshirt and going on scholarship later, but also didn't sound like that option was probable.

"As much as I would like to play up there, it would be hard to do if there was not a free ride and there were at the other schools," Beverage said. "I would have to think long and hard about that. Hopefully it will just work out where they end up with a scholarship for me."

Airlines head coach Mike Greene said Beverage is an outstanding prospect that just floated under the radar until appearing and playing so well in the aforementioned all-star game.

"He is a very good player that will really hit you and I think will end up making just an outstanding strong safety or linebacker on the college level," Greene said. "He was a wideout at Parkway and transferred over here after we had already sent out all of our game film from last year to try and help these kids get scholarships.

"I'm so happy that he played well in the all-star game and it's got the college teams coming after him now," Greene added. "I got calls from Oklahoma State and Arkansas State asking about in and wanting to get in on him as well today and LSU and Texas A&M also calling. But he really like Arkansas. That is where he wants to play."

Beverage, whose brother Chuck is on golf scholarship at Louisiana Tech, actually played free safety for Airline this season and seven interceptions to go along with his 98 tackles.

He capped that with two interceptions, one that he returned for a touchdown and another that set up a field goal in his team's 12-10 loss to West Monroe in the semifinals of the state playoffs.

"In our defensive scheme, the free safety is a guy we put in the middle of the field and move him up so he can go sideline to sideline and make plays," Greene said. "We needed somebody there who can really run and hit. One thing about him is if he hits you, you are going down. He really wraps up on his tackles and punishes the ballcarrier."

Beverage has gone from a 5-11, 200-pound sophomore to his current 6-1, 235-pound frame.

"Arkansas and Memphis are recruiting me as a strong safety that might move up while Louisiana Tech is looking at me as an outside linebacker," Beverage said. "I just want a chance to prove I can get it done. I hope that chance comes at Arkansas."

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