West to Arkansas

Hard-hitting safety John West (6-2, 190, 4.4) makes it official by signing with Arkansas on Wednesday as the mid-term junior college national signing date arrives.

For a long time the University of Arkansas has known it wanted to have hard-hitting safety John West playing in its secondary in the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

They came one step closer to being a reality when West (6-2, 190, 4.4) - a standout from North Dakota State College of Science - signed with the Razorbacks on Wednesday morning.

West, a mid-term signee who will be able to go through spring practice, only visited Arkansas (Dec. 2-4) and Iowa State (Dec. 16-18), but also had offers from Minnesota, Kansas State and Missouri.

"I had a tremendous time on my Arkansas visit," West said last week before traveling to Iowa State. "I just don't know how a place could be any better for me. The fans, the facilities, the opportunity for playing time is just right there in front of me."

West had over 50 tackles this season and two picks for the Wildcats this season, who ended their campaign with a 35-10 whipping of Joliet (Ill.) Junior College in the first agme of the Graphic Edge Bowl.

"He has great closing speed, is a very intense individual who is a big hitter, loves contact and brings it to practice every day and carries that on into the games,' NDSCS head coach Mike Beagle said earlier "He has a great work ethic and is someone who actually enjoys practice. Those kind of guys are hard to find."

West is expected to be the only junior college signee today for the Razorbacks and will begin school in January.

Arkansas had also been contenders for Coffeyville CC wideout Devin Thomas and Hutchinson CC safety Nehemiah Warrick, but both are signing with Michigan State.

Beagle said West, who shined for Oak Creek High School in the Milwaukee area, really developed while in Wahpeton at NDSCS.

"He has really matured as a player and a person and as a student while he has been here," Beagle said. "He is a great young man, the kind you love having over to dinner and someone who has just happened to have also made it happen on the football field. He's become a leader for us and it's been a joy to watch how far he has come."

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