Stumon's Quick Trip

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated and The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, Dudley E. Dawson writes about the impending visit and decision of North Little Rock star Van Stumon as well as the other prospects who will take official visits to Arkansas this week.

One of the most often asked questions I get is who is going to be the University of Arkansas' football program's next commitment.

With 13 players in last week and 14 more due at different times this week, we should have an answer pretty quick.

It might turned out to be North Little Rock star Van Stumon (6-3, 230), a player who shined as both a tailback and defensive end for the Charging Wildcats, but could end up as a fullback or linebacker in college.

Stumon took an official visit to Purdue this past weekend and will take a one-day official one to Arkansas today.

"I'm just want to go ahead and get up there and talk with Arkansas coaches," Stumon said. "I'm kind of ready to get this over with.

He won't take much time after his one-day trek to Fayetteville to make a decision.

I'll think it will be pretty quick once I get back from visiting Arkansas," Stumon said. Arkansas and Purdue are really the only two I'm going to look at."

Stumon will get into Fayetteville early Tuesday morning, meet with coaches and academic folks and get a lot of personal attention. He knows he is one of the Razorbacks' top prospects.

"They've done a great job of getting that across to me," Stumon said. "I feel very wanted."

As he did when he went to Purdue this weekend - a trip he took by himself because fellow North Little Rock star Jonathon Nixon took his official to the school during the season.

"It went well and I really liked it," Stumon said of his visit. "It sure was cold up there. I did like meeting their coaches and the few players that I got to meet. I also got to meet the people in the computer department and they let me know how that was going to work, my position coach and the strength and conditioning coach."

Stumon, whose team lost to Fort Smith Northside in the second round of the state playoffs, would much rather been playing Springdale in the state finals on Saturday instead of taking a trip.

But he said it was interesting to see a different part of the country.

"That was my first trip up that way," Stumon said. "Like I said it was all nice except for the cold."

Arkansas coaches have talked to Stumon after lining up at either linebacker or fullback while Purdue is recruiting him strictly as a linebacker.

"I think I like linebacker a little more because I like to hit people," Stumon said. "But I will play wherever they need me."

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Stumon is scheduled to be followed into Fayetteville on Thursday by juco wideout Tony Burks, a 6-4, 210-pound standout from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College who is a December grad.

Burks, who originally signed with Ole Miss out of high school, visited both Mississippi State and the Rebels last weekend and is scheduled to go to Oklahoma State after visiting Arkansas on Thursday and Friday.

After a standout prep career at Gulfport, he was the lone player from Mississippi that was named to the 2004 U.S. Army All-American Game.

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The Razorbacks will then welcome 12 more visitors for Friday through Sunday visits.

Those prospects will include three UA committed recruits in defensive tackle and former Texarkana star Freddie Barnett (6-3, 300, 5.1) of Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College; linebacker Chip Gregory (6-4, 212) of Carrollton (Texas) American Heritage Academy and running back/cornerback Torian Wilkins (5-10, 185, 4.4) of Brookshire Royal near Houston.

Also due in is wideout Devin Thomas (6-4, 205) of Coffeyville (Kan.) CC along with wide receivers Marquis Wade of Atlanta (Ga.) Booker T. Washington and James Thomas (5-10, 175, 4.4) of Marshall, Texas.

Other Texas prep recruits slated to visit are tight end/defensive end Adrian Reese (6-5, 200, 4.7) of Longview; Sweeny linebacker Wendell Davis (6-1, 205, 4.65) and defensive end Brandon Williams (6-3, 240, 4.6) Fort Worth Southwest Hills.

The other three prospects are from Georgia - linebacker Quincy Kelly (6-1, 225) of Decatur; cornerback/safety Mario Edwards (6-1, 176) of Atlanta Westlake and defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard (6-3, 260, 4.6) of Banbridge.

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...Juco safeties John West (6-2, 190, 4.4) of North Dakota State College of Science and Nehemiah Warrick (6-2, 208) of Hutchinson (Kan.) CC both visited Arkansas this past weekend and are both December grads.

West may or may not visit Iowa State on Dec. 16 while Warrick has already visited Michigan State and is headed to Tennessee this weekend.

The national junior college signing date for mid-term grads is Wednesday, Dec. 21, which is when Burks, West and Warrick are all planning to sign.

...The recruits who visited this past weekend has a chance to watch the Jermain Taylor-Bernard Hopkins fight on a big screen television in the Razorbacks' meeting room. No doubt the Razorback robe he sported and Arkansas on his boxing trunks didn't hurt.

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