Solid Razorback

In his Friday recruiting column for The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas and Hawgs Illustrated, Ryan Aber chats with UA wideout commit Andrew Norman of Springdale, his view on Gus Malzahn as a UA coach and also writes about 8 players visiting the Razorbacks officially this weekend.

It didn't take long for Springdale wide receiver and Arkansas commitment Andrew Norman to turn his attention to basketball.

After helping lead Springdale to the Class AAAAA state football championship Saturday night, Norman --and teammates Ben Cleveland, Zack Pianalto, Ryan Hoover and Bartley Webb --joined Springdale's basketball team on Monday and are in Kansas competing in a tournament this weekend. Jamie Jones will also join the basketball team, but will be sidelined for several weeks after contracting mononucleosis.

Norman, who had six catches for 106 yards and a touchdown in Springdale's 54-20 win over West Memphis in the championship game, will have one eye still on football, though.

He said he'd be following any changes that were made on Houston Nutt's Arkansas coaching staff closely.

"They've got great coaches up there and we're going to see what changes are being made," Norman said. "I'm still going there."

Norman said he'd followed some of the early rumors surrounding the Razorbacks football staff during the season but would pay more attention now that his season is over.

"We've been watching it a little bit, but we've been focusing on this team," Norman said. "Now, we'll just have to see what happens, what coaches are coming and if there's an offensive coordinator being hired.

"We're going to have to look at all the changes, but right now everything looks great."

Norman again reiterated his commitment to Arkansas.

"I am still committed to Arkansas," he said. "They had a rough year, but (I'm) going to stick in there. It's a great school. They've got great coaches up there."

Norman's recruiting has been done by Nutt and assistants James Shibest and Roy Wittke, who has reportedly been fired as the Razorbacks' quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator. Norman, though, said the changes wouldn't affect his commitment.

"It's pretty crazy right now," he said. "There's a lot of rumors out there, so you can't believe everything. You've just got to see what happens."

One bit of talk that does have Norman excited, though, is the possible addition of Springdale coach Gus Malzahn to the Arkansas staff.

"He's a guy that wants to throw the ball and I think his offensive scheme is great, but he also wants to have balance and that's what you've got to do to win championships," Norman said. "He's a great coach with a great offensive mind."

Having Malzahn as an assistant would be a great advantage, Norman said.

"Coming in as a freshman is already tough enough," he said. "Just knowing that I've already been with him through three years of high school, been through his system, the things he's done, that'll help me a great deal in making the transition to college."

Big Recruiting Weekend, Part II
For the second straight weekend, the Razorbacks will host a large group of recruits on officials visits.

Last week, 13 recruits visited Arkansas. Beginning today, eight more recruits will get an up-close look at the Razorbacks' football program.

Three of the eight are already committed to Arkansas --defensive tackle Freddie Barnett (6-3, 300, 5.1), running back/cornerback Torian Wilkins (5-10, 185, 4.4) and linebacker Chip Gregory (6-3, 212, 4.45).

Also visiting are tight end/defensive end Adrian Reese (6-5, 200, 4.7), linebacker Wendell Davis (6-1, 205, 4.65), wide receiver Devin Thomas (6-4, 205, 4.4), linebacker Quincy Kelly (6-1, 225) and defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard (6-3, 260, 4.6). Thomas has already orally committed to Michigan State.

North Little Rock defensive end Van Stumon, who will likely play linebacker in college, visited during the week after visiting Purdue last weekend.

Stumon has yet to make a commitment, but one should be coming shortly, as he said he wanted to make a decision before Christmas.

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