Stumon's Making the Move

UA commit Van Stumon (6-3, 230, 4.6) of North Little Rock will make the move from defensive end to middle linebacker once he arrives on campus, but he is already taking steps to prepare.

North Little Rock's Van Stumon is hard pressed to come up with things he enjoys outside of athletics.

"I'm more of a sports person," Stumon, an Arkansas commitment, said. "That's what I'm working on most of the time."

Stumon does sneak in some time on his PlayStation, though, mainly Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

But it's football, and until this year, basketball, that occupy most of his time.

Unlike most of the players who will join him in signing national letters of intent Wednesday, Stumon will have to adjust to a new position once he gets on the campus in Fayetteville.

A defensive end in high school, Stumon will play linebacker in college.

"I feel pretty good about the change," he said. "I know I have to learn but overall I think I'll be OK."

The biggest change, he said, would be having to react to the whole field instead of just one side like he had to while at end.

"I'll have to be more aware of which way the ball's going," Stumon said. "Instead of just worrying about just going to one side."

To prepare for the switch, Stumon has taken to working with a personal trainer during the offseason, working on improving his strength and agility.

He gave up basketball to focus on the preparation.

"I kind of miss it," Stumon said. "It's sort of like I'm getting more anxious to get back on the football field now that I'm not doing anything."

Stumon chose Arkansas over Purdue, announcing his decision on a Little Rock television station.

"It was pretty difficult because there wasn't anything bad about either of them," he said. "It was pretty much even, so I decided to stay closer to home."

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt visited Stumon's house a few weeks ago and Stumon stays in contact with the staff, speaking to coaches "at least once a week."

Stumon didn't get the full weekend treatment for his official visit, as his schedule forced a one-day visit Dec. 6 that included going to the Arkansas-Texas State basketball game.

"I'd rather have been able to visit on a weekend and see everything instead of being in a big rush," Stumon said.

Even though he's giving up playing offense, Stumon still favors former Tennessee and Dallas running back Eddie George as his favorite athlete.

"When I was playing running back, that's who I compared myself to," he said. "He was a between-the-tackles type of runner and that's what I was."


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