Shiloh Christian senior-to-be wideout Eric Shaffer could be a busy prospect this weekend.
He hopes to attend the Friday night portion of the University of Arkansas Seniors Camp and then head on down to Little Rock to try and help the Saints win the state FCA 7-on-7 championship Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
But lingering back pain may force him to forego working out at the camp and concentrate on helping his team in the tournament.
"I feel real good about our chances to bring home a state title," Shaffer said. "We have a lot of potential and I don't think we have played our best yet, but still been very successful."
Shaffer (5-11, 175), one of the state's speediest players and top pass catchers, transferred from Fayetteville and is hooking up with two of the state's best juniors in Shiloh quarterback Matt Simpson and wide receiver Crosby Tuck.
Simpson won the Top Gun QB1 Challenge Wednesday night in Springdale.
"It's been a learning experience for me this spring and summer taking in a new offense, getting my assignments down and just being a better receiver," Shaffer said. "It's been great working with those two. Matt is a hard worker and Crosby probably has the most potential of just about anyone when it comes to D-1. We stay a lot after our (7-on-7) workouts just to get in more work."
Shaffer, who caught 36 passes for 612 yards last season for Fayetteville, is drawing recruiting interest from Arkansas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Florida, but does not have any offers on the table yet.
He is certainly a gifted athlete as evidenced by his stats at a recent Nike Combine in Fort Worth.
"I had a 38-inch vertical jump, had a 4,03 shuttle, ran a 4.31 40-yard dash, bench pressed 185 pounds 17 times," noted Shaffer, who has always put up great combine numbers. "I also had the second highest SPARQ score with a 95.8."
That combine was held in conjunction with a 7-on-7 competition featuring some of the top schools in Texas such as Southlake Carroll and Arlington Lamar , another top Arkansas passing program in Pulaski Academy and some all-star teams from California and Texas.
"Arlington Lamar finished first, Pulaski second and both our team and we got third," Shaffer said. "We played pretty well down there and got a lot of confidence."
The Saints followed that up by playing Springdale - the preseason number one team in Arkansas - a very close game in regular 7-on-7 competition.
"Anytime you can play a team like that who has five Division I guys and is regarded as the best and play them close, it just adds more confidence," Shaffer said. "Certainly their defensive guys are bigger and stronger, but it makes us feel pretty good that we can get right in there and compete with them."
The Saints qualified for the state tournament by finishing second last Saturday in Rogers in the Region 1 tournament. Rogers topped Shiloh 22-15 in the championship contest with Farmington the only other squad in the vent.
Other schools who will be on hand for the state tournament are Lake Hamilton, Fountain Lake, Russellville, Dardanelle, Pine Bluff, Star City, Harding Academy, Searcy, Little Rock Parkview and Mayflower.
"There are going to be some very good teams there, but I like our chances," Shaffer said.
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