It's Been Crazy in Camden

Although he is firmly committed to Arkansas, Camden Fairview quarterback Jim Youngblood (6-3, 212) has had nearly 40 college coaches at his school this spring hoping to change his mind and pick up a couple of his teammates as well in all-purpose back De'Anthony Curtis (5-11, 211, 4.41) and defensive end LaVunce Askew (6-3, 260, 4.8).

Much like it was in Springdale two years ago, it's been a circus in Camden Fairview this spring.

Just under 40 college coaches have made their way to the South Arkansas community to watch the Cardinals go through spring practice.

Camden Fairview quarterback Jim Youngblood (6-3, 212, 4.69) – who committed to the University of Arkansas back in February - says it's been both wild and an honor to host the horde.

"It's been something having 38 or 39 different coaches come through here, but that's what is going to happen when you have five or six Division I players on one team," Youngblood said. "It's really been special and hectic for all of us."

Arkansas – recruiting Youngblood, tailback De'Anthony Curtis (5-11, 211, 4.41) and defensive end LaVunce Askew (6-3, 260, 4.8) – was front and center.

Some of other elite schools coming through were USC, LSU, Oklahoma, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Ole Miss and Mississippi State to name a few.

While those schools know that Youngblood is solidly committed to Arkansas, they left a message for Camden Fairview head coach to give to Youngblood.

"All of those 38 or 39 schools know that I am going to be a Razorback and there's no doubt about that, but let it be known that if I did change my mind that I had a home and a scholarship waiting on me at their school," Youngblood said. "I appreciate that, but I am all about Arkansas."

In fact, Youngblood has been taking time to call other recruits that Arkansas is after and making his best case for why they should join him.

"Arkansas boys should definitely stay in Arkansas," Youngblood said while echoing the sentiments of Pulaski Academy wideout and fellow Razorback commit Cruz Williams (6-5, 205).

"One of thing things I have really tried to get across to the guys I have talked to in Arkansas is that if you stay in state and be a Razorback you will be a hero forever in state," Youngblood said. "If you go to Tennessee or LSU or Alabama or someplace like that, they are done with you as soon as your four years of playing for them are up."

He feels like they are very close on a couple of guys.

"I'm doing my part and so is Cruz," Youngblood said. "It's going to be a great class."

Arkansas took a second quarterback commitment over the weekend when Dodge City (Kan.) standout Kale Pick (6-2, 195, 4.55) committed to the Razorbacks.

"It's all about getting the best players we can and I am going to do my part to keep them coming," Youngblood said. "I've never been afraid of competition and it means a lot to me for them to have offered me first and to think that highly of me."

There has certainly been a spirited debate over who is the top quarterback in the state in the 2008 class – Youngblood or Greenwood's Tyler Wilson (6-3, 180).

They are certainly both big-time prospects that put up big-time numbers last season and Pulaski Academy head coach Kevin Kelly went up against both of them.

Youngblood – a dual threat signal caller - passed for 2,200 yards and ran for another 800 while accounting for 30 touchdowns in all.

He was the quarterback of the two that Arkansas decided to offer early.

"If you are looking for a quarterback that can both throw it and makes plays in the running game, than Jim Youngblood is that guy," Kelly said. ‘He's got a great arm and is big and strong and hard to bring down. Just a great kid and leader."

Wilson – listed as 32 pound lighter than Youngblood - threw for 4,222 yards and 50 touchdowns this season with 14 interceptions and has offers from LSU and Alabama among others.

"In terms of a pocket passer, there is not a better quarterback in the state than Tyler Wilson," Kelly said. "I obviously got to see all of him I wanted to, but was just so impressed with what he can do. That's why so many coaches are showing up in Greenwood these days."

Both quarterbacks are also outstanding baseball pitchers with 90-plus miles per hour fastballs and have played against each other on the diamond in all-star play since they were 11.

Both will more than likely be taken very high in the June 2008 Major League Baseball Draft and have declared they will play college baseball if they don't turn pro.

"I plan on playing football and baseball at Arkansas," Youngblood said. "That is what I am totally committed to doing."

The two quarterbacks are among 13 that have been invited to the Top Gun Challenge in Springdale on July 12-13.

They are also both supposed to be in Missouri next weekend for a Nike Camp that helps select the candidates for the prestigious Nike Elite 11 event.

"That (the Nike Elite 11) is the big one as far as getting recognition so I am going to go up to Missouri and try to do my best to put myself in position," Youngblood said. "I just want to make Arkansas proud."


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