It's already been quite a week for North Little Rock standouts Van Stumon and Jonathon Nixon, but they'll try to cap it off with a strong performance in the FCA Combine Saturday morning at War Memorial Stadium.
Stumon (6-2, 230) is a running back/linebacker/defensive end who got scholarship offers this week from the University of Arkansas and Purdue while tight end/defensive end Nixon (6-3, 240) also got one from the Boilermakers.
"We started them both at defensive end as sophomores and knew we had something special in both of them," North Little Rock head coach Byron Hutson. "It's clear everybody is seeing that is the case now as well."
The foot traffic this week around the athletic facilities at North Little Rock is certainly evidence of that.
"This week alone I've had Purdue, Rice, Memphis,Tulsa and Arkansas," Hutson said. "And I'm looking at a big old pile of mail here on my desk with letters from Illinois, Memphis, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Ohio State, Arizona State, LSU, Vanderbilt, Florida and Iowa just to name some of them that have shown interest in these kids."
Stumon and Nixon are expected to be part of around 200 senior-to-be prospects that will be on hand for the FCA combine, an event in which college coaches from the various schools around Arkansas use to see prospects first hand.
"Both of them have put themselves in position by working hard to get good looks from all these schools that we've talked about," Hutson said. "One thing about them is they are not only great players, but great kids as well."
Stumon, who originally hails from Louisiana, split time at running back with UA defensive back signee Jamar Love last season with both rushing for over 800 yards.
"If we had just had one of them back there, I'm sure they would have went over 1,500 yards," Hutson said. "But they complimented each other real well. Van is a guy who is 230 pounds and just hard to bring down. I know I wouldn't want to try and tackle him. He's a bull more than an outside guy, but he has gone to a lot of speed camps to improve that this spring."
While some schools are looking at Stumon on the offensive side of the ball, more are looking at him at linebacker or defensive end - two spots he switched back and forth between last season.
"More people have expressed interest in him as a defensive player," Hutson said. "He could probably put on some more weight once he gets to college. He has great natural instincts and I think is going to be a great player for someone."
Nixon could likely pack 275 to 280 pounds on his frame once he gets to college according to Hutson.
"He is extremely strong and benches well over 300 pounds," Hutson said. "Some see him staying at defensive end, some see him going down and being a defensive tackle with the added weight. The biggest thing is he makes plays. He's also great at tight end for us, mostly because he is just one heck of a blocker."
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