Minnesota prep lineman Brandon Hoey was talked into visiting the University of Arkansas a couple of weeks ago by Razorback offensive line coach Mike Markuson, a native of his state.
The 6-5, 280-pound standout offensive and defensive lineman from Arden (Minn.) Mounds View High offensive lineman is certainly glad he took up the invite.
"It was just amazing," Hoey said. "I had no idea how great the facilities were. It is absolutely the best I have ever seen in my life. From the stadium to the weight room to the locker rooms, I was just blown away. It was totally unexpected and certainly really grabbed my attention."
Hoey, who flew to Dallas with his dad on a business trip and then made the drive up, has plenty of other facilities to stack Arkansas' up against.
He also visited Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa State, Nebraska, Michigan State, Northwestern - all of who have offered him a scholarship as have the Razorbacks, Missouri , Colorado, Wyoming and Central Florida.
May of those schools view him as either an offensive tackle or guard prospect on the college level, but he will spend mostly just working at the stud defensive end.
Hoey had 45 tackles, 12 sacks and 14 hurries from that spot last season.
"There are schools that are recruiting me for defense, but most of them are talking about me playing offense," Hoey said. "That is what Arkansas sees me as and I really like Coach Markuson, who coaches the offensive line there. I will be in as offensive lineman on some situations during the year but mostly I'll stick to defense."
His decision could come at any moment or after the season.
"At first I thought I would have it done before the season," Hoey said Saturday afternoon. "But then I took the trip to Arkansas and it's made me want to just wait and make sure I really look everything over. They really turned my head. I could do it sometime soon, in the middle of the season or after taking official visits. I'll just know when the time is right."
Hoey, who sports a 3.0 grade point average and has posted a 23 on his ACT, and his teammates got to battle Tarton in a scrimmage on Saturday morning to tune up for next Friday's opener with Lakeville.
"It was great finally getting to hit somebody other than my teammates," Hoey said. "It went really well for us and we are anxious to get the season started because we think it is going to be a great one."
Hoey is teammates with two other top Minnesota prospects in quarterback Adam Weber - the state's top-rated signal caller who has committed to the Gophers - and Maurice Turner, Jr., the son of the former six-year NFL player for the Minnesota Vikings.
"I am the only one on the defensive line that started last season coming back, but we have got a lot of good young talent stepping in," Hoey said. "On offense we've obviously got some big weapons like our quarterback Adam Weber and Maurice Turner so we think we are poised to do even better than last season's 8-3 record."
Hoey camped at Wisconsin, Iowa State and Minnesota this summer while also taking the bevy of unofficial visits.
"As far as Arkansas, Coach Markuson said I should take a visit before I made a commitment anywhere so I flew down to Dallas with my dad and I thought I should give it a shot," Hoey said of his early August visit during the first week of Arkansas' preseason practice. "I'm sure glad I did as it exceeded all my expectations."
He certainly has earned high praise for Mounds View head coach Jim Galvin, who talked to Scout.com about his standout who has added 15 pounds of muscle since playing last year at 265.
"He has a great motor, and he doesn't take any plays off," Galvin said. "If he does get high, he is still able to disengage from the block and get after it. He has great lateral quickness, and a frame that will allow you to put enough pounds on him to play him either inside or outside."
"Brandon has a great frame, and will easily hold three hundred pounds in collegel," added Galvin. "It will be up to the type of defensive scheme schools use in whether he plays inside or outside, but he is a defensive player with his mindset and just how he gets after it."
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