Grid Guests

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated and The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, Dudley E. Dawson writes about upcoming visits this week from Kansas City offensive lineman Jayson Palmgren (6-2, 285) and Central Arkansas Christian star David Williams (6-3, 245) and some other happenings as the summer gets underway.

Just because the calendar is getting to flip to June doesn't mean that the University of Arkansas sports scene will have a absence of activity.

While the Diamond Razorbacks prepare to host a NCAA Regional this weekend, the UA football coaches are readying to host a couple of top prospects on unofficial visits and- like the UA basketball coaches - to host their own camps.

Of course, that's after some of them get back from the SEC meetings which are always good for a couple of surprises as far as rules, schedule changes, etc.

"It's a busy, busy time, but it's a lot of fun, too," said UA head coach Houston Nutt, who got to spend the holiday weekend with his family and now will put back on his coaching hat.

The Razorback football coaches will get visits from Kansas City (Mo.) North offensive lineman Jayson Palmgren (6-2, 285) on Wednesday and then Thursday will host Central Arkansas star David Williams (6-3, 245), who Arkansas sees as a guy that could fill the role currently being played by Peyton Hillis.

Williams, the fourth-best player in the state per the soon-to-be released Hawgs Illustrated Top 40, lines up at both tight end and fullback for the Mustangs.

He caught 51 passes for 688 yards and six touchdowns, rushed 19 times for 81 yards, returned a kickoff for a touchdown and also got it done on defense with 132 tackles while lining up at defensive end, tackle and even linebacker.

Williams has offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Kansas State with Oklahoma among the other schools also showing interest.

"I was all about Oklahoma State at first, but Arkansas has really come on strong and I'm feeling real good about them right now and right now those teams are really about even," Williams said after the FCA Combine. "In fact, my family and I are thinking about taking a trip up there very soon, maybe even next week and just checking out everything. I'm just feeling a lot better about things and (UA assistant) Coach Danny Nutt – who I really like – has me pumped up about what is going on at Arkansas."

Palmgren is an offensive lineman prospect that already has offers from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas State, Kansas and Missouri while also hearing from Nebraska and Michigan.

"He is the most physical, run-blocking offensive lineman I've ever been around on the high school level," North head coach Chad Valdez told "He is a great finisher. He has the ability to get to the 2nd and 3rd levels after containing the edge, and he really finishes blocks well on linebackers and safeties. He has great feet."

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Williams will be one of the many top talents on hand for the second annual Shootout of the South 7-on-7 Tournament June 9-10 in Little Rock - an event hosted by Pulaski Academy.

Joining Pulaski Academy and Central Arkansas Christian in the 24-team event will 6 out-of-state squads and 16 other in-state schools.

Those out-of-state schools include Allen (Texas) High with quarterback Nathan Dick and running back Charles Opeseyitan, Texas High and Michigan quarterback commit Ryan Mallett, Shreveport (La.) Captain Shreve, Shreveport Evangel, Oklahoma's Heritage Hall, Miami (Okla.) High and American Heritage Academy from Dallas.

Fayetteville, joins Arkansas Baptist, Bryant, Little Rock Parkview, Little Rock Episcopal, Helena-West Helena Central, Mayflower, Prescott, Russellville, Star City, Fort Smith Union Christian, Warren and a few other teams in the competition.

The event will be held at the Mighty Bluebird Soccer Fields, which can have six different games being played at one time.

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Several of those same teams will be competing in the Sonic Air Raid 7-on-7 Tournament on the campus of Harding University in Searcy this Saturday.

CAC, Fayetteville, Russellville, Bryant and Star City will join Shiloh Christian, Harding Academy, Searcy, Forrest City, Stuttgart, Gosnell, Pine Bluff Dollarway, McCrory, Glen Rose and Boyd Buchanon High of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Games will begin at 9 a.m.

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...Arkansas will host a plethora of its top football recruiting targets during the Houston Nutt Senior Individual Camp on June 11-14 and the Seniors Only camp on July 21-22.

...UA head basketball coach Stan Heath and his staff will host overnight camps June 16-19, July 16-19 and a day camp on June 26-30.

...UA basketball target James Anderson is slated to participate in the Nike All-America Camp in Indianapolis in early July while other key recruits such as Michael Sanchez, Nate Rakestraw, Kodi Augustus and Dar Tucker will all be at the Reebok ABCD Camp in Teaneck, N.J. on July 4-9.

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