Webb's World

Having figured out a five five of college destinationss, Springdale offensive lineman Bartley Webb (6-7, 285) is now just trying to figure out which one is the right one.

Like the rest of Springdale 5, Bartley Webb has heard all the rumors where he might end up playing ball.

One rumor will say the 6-7, 285-offensive lineman is a lock for Notre Dame, a place he has visited three times.

Another is certain he is headed to Michigan. Some other guy has heard Texas although another one says Florida is now the leader after a visit there.

And then there's Arkansas, where yet more speculation has him landing after all is said and down.

The only thing is for certain is that it will come from those five schools.

"I'm down to Arkansas, Florida, Notre Dame, Michigan and Texas," Webb said. "Basically those five are places you can get a great education. I like the player-coach relationship at all five, the player-player one and the family-oriented team was at all five of those.

"Plus just the town that the Universities was in," Webb continued. " I look at if I go out and get hurt and won't be able to play, where am I going to be happy living. All five of those met those requirements."

Those awaiting a decision could possibly hear something as early as next week - then again, it might take much longer.

"Really whenever I am ready I am going to pull the trigger," Webb said. "When that is going to be there is no telling. It could be anywhere from next week to next February. It's up in the air right now, but as soon as I know where I want to go and I am 100 percent on that, I will pull the trigger."

Arkansas is the only school left in the running where Webb and his four highly-recruited teammates - quarterback Mitch Mustain, tight end Ben Cleveland and wideouts Damian Williams and Andrew Norman - could go as a group.

Razorback head coach Houston Nutt has certainly stressed how much he wants the quintet.

"Coach Nutt took us in his office and just kind of sit down and basically told us what each one of us can do for the program, what he likes about us and what our strengths are," Webb said. "He also talked about what his plans for us are if we decide to go there.

"It is definitely something that we are considering, but at the same time, we are all looking at what is the best for us individually as well," Webb said. "Basically we are all just taking everything into consideration."

All five have played it close to the vest even as there has been a ton of media and coaches chronicling nearly their every move this spring and summer.

It's been a little flattering, honoring and maddening according to Webb.

"All of the above," Webb said. "When it started out, it was real cool. You show up out here for 7-on-7 and there are TV cameras and reporters are every where. Then it's the first day of spring practice and there are tons of coaches out here.

"When it started out, it was flattering and awesome," Webb added. "Slowly, it just became ‘give us a break. We are just 17 years old. Though most people don't agree, we don't deserve this attention.

"But overall, I think we have handled it really well," Webb continued. "Individually God has graced us in many ways for us to be in this situation. I understand there are millions of players who would love to be in this situation and just a select few are. We are really blessed for this opportunity."

While the rumors about his destination are numerous, Webb will admit to having his head turned a bit by Notre Dame, one of college football's top names that has fallen on hard times lately.

"Basically whenever you talk about Notre Dame it's a name program with a lot of tradition," Webb said. "When I got the offer from them, it was an automatic that I would take a look at them. The school educationally is practically an Ivy League-type education."

After firing Tyrone Willingham, Notre Dame has turned to former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

"You can look at Coach Weis as a guy coming in who is partly responsible for three out of the last four Super Bowl titles," Webb said. "He is just a great guy. I personally really enjoy talking with him every time I have been there.

"...He is a straight forward person. He told me ‘Bartley my strength is also my weakness. I tell the truth no matter what. If you are good I am going to tell you that you are good. If you are bad, I am going to tell you that you are bad. That alone tells you what he is like."

Webb, who went to Notre Dame for a spring practice, the spring game and a camp, also likes Irish offensive line coach John Latina, formerly of Ole Miss.

"Coach Latina has a record of putting people in the NFL at Ole Miss - 11 out of (last) 13 went under him," Webb said.

His thoughts on the other programs:

TEXAS:

- "We got to go to the (NCAA Baseball Regional) game that Arkansas won (over Texas) and that was kind of exciting," Webb said. "The camp itself just gave us a feel for the coaches. I got to know Coach McWhorter, the offensive line coach, and his coaching style and strategies and just kind of start to build a relationship with him."

FLORIDA:

"I went down there with Ben and Damian and (Springdale head) Coach Malzahn went with us," Webb said. "We just started a relationship with them. We went over their offense with their offensive coordinator, watched film and broke it down and learned what their plans are for reloading the program, their plans for the future and where we fit in."

"He (new Florida head coach Urban Meyer) wasn't there when we were there, he was at the SEC meetings," Webb said. "But you could tell the rest of the coaching staff was happy and excited to be there. As we were leaving, we saw a lot of billboards around town talking about The New Beginning. The local paper had him on the front page and you can tell the entire state is excited for him to be there."

MICHIGAN:

"Kind of like Notre Dame," Webb said. "They have made back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances although they haven't been on the winning end. The tradition itself is unbelievable and Coach (Lloyd) Carr has done a great job. You look back to when Coach (Bo) Schembechler was there, he got it to where it was at and now Coach Carr has elevated it to a better level. Also educationally, it is top five nationally if I am not mistaken. It's located in a nice town."


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