Arkansas offers Youngblood

Camden Fairview quarterback/pitcher Jim Youngblood (6-3, 212, 4.69) now has a scholarship offer from the Razorback football team - the third 2008 Cardinals prospect to have one - to go along with his earlier offer from the Diamond Hogs.

Camden Fairview junior two-sport star Jim Youngblood effectively hit the daily double on Thursday night.

That's when University of Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt sent a text message to Youngblood (6-3, 212, 4.69) – a star quarterback and pitcher for the Cardinals - to let him know that he had a grid offer to go along with one he already had from Dave Van Horn's Razorback baseball program.

Seeing as how a baseball scholarship pays only a minimal portion of school expenses and football provides a full ride, that was great news for Youngblood.

"I was pretty excited and to tell you the truth I was a little bit in shock because I was expecting it," Youngblood said. "I was sitting here at the house just watching TV, the phone rang and I didn't know who it was, but I was awfully excited when I figured out who it was.

"This just takes so much stress off of me," Youngblood added. "I had been waiting on it and hoping I was going to get it and now that it is finally here I feel the stress just lifting off of me. I don't have to worry so much now about trying to impress them more so they would offer. Now I can just enjoy playing."

Youngblood passed for 2,022 yards and 18 touchdowns with six interceptions last season and rushed for 820 yards and 11 more scores while leading the Cardinals to an 11-1 mark.

He becomes the third 2008 Camden Fairview prospect to get an offer along with defensive end Lavunce Askew (6-3, 255, 4.8) and running back De'Anthony Curtis (5-11, 211, 4.41) and this definitely has the community buzzing.

All three will be on hand Saturday for the first of two Arkansas Junior Days, this one having 36 players that have already been evaluated invited to attend.

"It means a lot for us all to get offer and people here are so excited about it," Youngblood said. "Last year during our football season it (winning) kind of turned the town around. Us three getting this attention has brought even more pride to the town and the people have gotten behind us. It means a lot not only to the players and coaches, but the town."

Camden is working hard to run all the way to a state title next season after losing only to Pulaski Academy in the state playoffs last season.

"We have been maxing out in the weight room this week and the players are working so hard," Youngblood said. "De'Anthony and I are actually playing baseball now. We went through three or four weeks of offseason."

Youngblood, who has a 95 mile an hour fastball and is a pro pitching prospect, and Camden Fairview's baseball team are off to a 3-0 start, including a 5-1 win over traditional state power Pine Bluff on Tuesday night.

Pine Bluff had combined for over 50 runs in its other three games.

"I pitched four innings, didn't give up a run and I think I struck out seven or eight," Youngblood said. "It was a good start for me."

Curtis actually followed Youngblood – who also had a bases-clearing triple in the game in and finished up on the mound in the game.

Youngblood also has offers from Tulsa, Arkansas State and UCA so far with many more expected.

"I think Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and Tennessee are all hopefully going to offer," Youngblood said. "They all seem very interested."

Youngblood, who plans right now to play both sports in college, does not plan to rush into a commitment.

"I am definitely going to take all five of my (official) visits," Youngblood said. "It is a big decision and is going to affect the rest of my life so I want to be sure. I don't really have a timetable."

Colleges will not only be vying against each other for Youngblood, but likely battling with the fact he will be taken at some point in the June Major League Draft.

"I have told people from the beginning that I want to play both sports in college," Youngblood said. "But whatever is the best after all is said and done, whatever is the best fit be it football and baseball or if it's football or baseball. It's going to end up being what I feel most comfortable with."

He has heard from plenty of big league scouts.

"I have talked to about 10 major league organizations and I get plenty of other letters and questionnaires from all the other teams," Youngblood said. "I have gotten pretty close with scouts from the Royals and the Cardinals lately."

Since his dad Stan is a diehard Cardinal fan, that's got him a little excited.

"Man, he'd love it," Youngblood said of him possibly being a Cardinals fan. "He is so diehard."

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