Stumon picks Razorbacks

North Little Rock standout Van Stumon and Georgia prep defender Malcolm Sheppard both come aboard the UA commit list on Wednesday night.

North Little Rock standout Van Stumon announced Tuesday night on Little Rock television station Fox 16 that he would be playing his college football at the University of Arkansas.

Stumon, a 6-3, 230-pound star who is slated to play middle linebacker on the college level, chose the Razorbacks over co-finalist Purdue.

"It's a great relief and I am really looking forward to being a Razorback," Stumon said."They say there is a good chance of be coming in and playing and it's perfect opportunity for me to do so."

Stumon said he made the decision about two weeks ago and before visiting both schools on official visits, but became absolute certain of his destination in the last day or so.

Stumon joined Banbridge (Ga.) defensive lineman Malcolm Sheppard in committing to the Razorbacks on Wednesday night to the give the school 9 commitments in its 2006 recruiting class.

"I really like the fan support and my family can get to see me play more," Stumon said. "I am really looking forward to playing middle linebacker and playing for the coaches up there. I think we are going to be very good."

Stumon had over 80 tackles this season at defensive end for the Charging Wildcats and also rushed for nearly 1,000 yards while playing both ways.

His dad Melvin is anxious to see what he can do just playing on one side of the ball.

"I think his season could have been a little better this season, but I think part of that had to do with going both ways and being on the field so much," Mr. Stumon said. "I am looking forward to him being on just one side of the ball and being able to turn it loose.

"I think the Arkansas fans are going to see an outstanding player on the next level and I know he is proud he is going to be playing for them," Mr Stumon added.

Stumon told coaches of his decision on Wednesday afternoon, calling Purdue and then letting UA assistant Danny Nutt know of his decision.

Nutt and UA head coach Houston Nutt both visited Stumon on Wednesday afternoon.

"We had a great time with Coach Nutt and D-Nutt here," Mr. Stumon said. "D-Nutt kept it as a secret from Coach Houston Nutt so he could have a nice surprise."

There had been constant calls from coaches and recruiting writers as Stumon was being recruited by the two aforementioned schools as well as Arkansas State.

"It's been like a big repeat with all the questions being the same," Stumon said. "Have you made your decision? When do you think you are going to make the decision?... After the season, it was have you made your decision. It was tiring."

"It's been tough on him," Mr. Stumon said. "We wanted to try and get it done by Christmas. I am very happy about his decision. It was his decision totally and I am looking forward to come watching him play."

He decided to take Fox 16's invitation to announce his decision on TV, which was also broadcast over the internet.

Stumon picked up an Arkansas hat first and then put it back down, picked up the Purdue hat and dropped it and then put on the Razorback one to confirm his choice.

"This is where I have decided it is best for me," Stumon said. "I am very solid on my decision."

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