Big-Time Linebacker

North Little Rock linebacker Van Stumon (6-2, 230), one of six in-state prospects that has an scholarship offer from the University of Arkansas, was one of the top prospects at Saturday's FCA combine in Little Rock.

While there were tons of great athletes at Saturday's FCA Combine in Little Rock, perhaps no one garnered more attention than North Little Rock linebacker Van Stumon.

Stumon, a 6-2, 230-pound linebacker who muscled-up physique certainly makes him look the part of big-time linebacker , had a big week with as scholarship offers from University of Arkansas and Purdue both rolled in.

"I was real excited about both of them," Stumon said. "I really wasn't expecting them and didn't know what to say. I just said ‘thanks.'"

Stumon, who rushed for over 800 yards and had 60-plus tackles while splitting time between linebacker and defensive end, was a focal point for UA head coach Houston Nutt during the combine that hosted some 190 invited players on Saturday.

"I really like Mr. Nutt and love their program," Stumon said. "I love the fan support. It's crazy up there. There is also a lot of players from Pulaski County already up there that I have played with and played against and I wouldn't mind playing with them again."

But this won't be a slam dunk for the Razorbacks, who will have to be out a few other teams to sign Stumon, who was born in Louisiana and lived there until he was four before moving to Arkansas.

"Arkansas, LSU, Texas and I will give a look to Purdue," Stumon said when ask who were the main contenders for his signature. "There are a lot more recruiting me, but those are the four right now that I am really thinking about."

North Little Rock head coach Bryan Hutson said earlier this week that others such as Florida, Illinois, Ohio State, Iowa, Arizona State, Memphis and Georgia Tech had expressed interest.

"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."

Stumon, who has run a 4.6 40-yard dash but reported he did not get under a 4.9 handheld on Saturday, says he is working both on his strengths and weaknesses this spring and summer.

"I'm pretty big to be as quick as I am," Stumon said, "even though the times I ran here today were not anywhere near my best. I am pretty strong and can get around an offensive lineman pretty easily. I get a pretty good rush on the quarterback. But I can improve my speed and that's why I am working with a - a speed trainer that I am working with - B.J. Macke of Arkansas Sports Performance."

Stumon has plans to attend two Arkansas camps - the June 5-8th one and the Senior High Individual Camp camp on July 22-23.

"We have seven-on-seven and I will probably go to the Arkansas and LSU camps," Stumon said. "I think I am going to come to both, Arkansas camps. (UA assistant coach) Mr. Danny Nutt wants me to come to both so that's what I am going to do."

Although many would no doubt love Stumon to become the Razorbacks' first commitment prep commitment of the 2006 class.

"I'll be making my decision on where I am going to go later this year after me and my family sit down and discuss the pros and cons of everything," Stumon said. "I'll go to these camps this summer and then probably make a call."

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