Hatfield Honored With Scholarship In His Name

FAYETTEVILLE -- Former Arkansas football coach Ken Hatfield thought he was simply getting lunch with one of his old players last week.

He had no idea that former Arkansas deep snapper Patrick Cameron wanted to talk to him about establishing a football scholarship in the coach's honor. Cameron announced during a news conference Wednesday afternoon that a scholarship bearing Hatfield's name will be given annually to a walk-on football player who was raised in Arkansas. Of course, deep snappers will be given special consideration. Cameron, now 37, was a former walk-on from Little Rock who received the last scholarship Hatfield gave out during his time as Arkansas' football coach. "It's so humbling and yet so gratifying for someone to think about how he felt and what it meant to him (to play for Arkansas) and want to pass it on to another guy like Patrick, who may need some help," said Hatfield, who wore a red sports coat and matching Razorbacks tie to the news conference in Arkansas' team meeting room. Cameron beat the odds to walk on with the Razorbacks as a 192-pound deep snapper, and he was a two-year lettermen from 1989-90. Cameron said Wednesday that he got the idea to start a scholarship in Hatfield's name around two months ago after meeting with Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles. Cameron had heard the negative publicity surrounding current Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt, and he wanted to do something to show his support. "About two months ago, I sat down with Frank and told him that I wanted to give my support to Houston. I want him to know that Houston had my support," said Cameron, who works as a Vice President and Senior Financial Consultant for Stephens Inc. "I just wanted to (start the scholarship) as a former player, as a fan and as a financial supporter." Broyles said Cameron pledged $220,000 to start the scholarship in Hatfield's name. Nutt, who has endured his most trying offseason over the past few months, said he appreciated Cameron's gesture during a particularly rough time. "I think it's wonderful, I think it's great. Great timing," said Nutt, who also attended the news conference. "... You know the kind of person (Cameron) is, and he probably would have done it anytime. He's just such a class act, what an example." Nutt said he's not sure if Hatfield's scholarship will begin in the fall because of the NCAA's rule that allows a Division I-A football team to give only 85 scholarships. But if it doesn't start in the fall, Nutt said the scholarship will be given to a walk-on in 2008. Tight end Andrew Davie, kicker Jeremy Davis and running back Hezekiah Smith are walk-ons who are next in line to get a scholarship, Nutt said.

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