The MVPs

UA commit and Pulaski Academy star Cruz Williams (6-5, 205, 4.4) is named the top wide receiver and CAC's Joe Adams (6-1, 180, 4.4) the top defensive back, but Top Gun quarterback winner Garret Valdez leads his Oklahoma City (Okla.) Heritage Hall squad to the Shootout of the South championship on Saturday.

LITTLE ROCK - Pulaski Academy star and University of Arkansas commit Cruz Williams and Central Arkansas Christian's Joe Adams took home some individual hardware, but it was quarterback Garrett Valdez and Oklahoma City's Heritage" Hall who took hope the big trophy.

Valdez was named the Top Gun quarterback winner – following in the footsteps of University of Arkansas signee Nathan Dick – by lifting his team to a 23-21 win over defending champ Allen in the championship game of the Shootout of the South 7-on7 passing tournament.

Williams (6-5, 205, 4.4) was named the top wideout in the event for the third straight year while Adams – who showed his versatility on both offense and defense in the event – being named the top defensive back.

"There was a great group of wide receivers here and I feel really good about being named the best," Williams said. "It's the third year in a row I've been fortunate to do that. I wish we hadn't got put out (in the semifinals), but we all came out and played hard and just made a few mistakes."

Allen downed Pulaski Academy 30-22 in the semifinals while Holland Hall was edging Harding Academy 23-21.

The Allen-PA match-up featured Texas commit Dan Buckner (6-5, 210) and Williams, who committed to Texas after catching 72 passes for over 1,000 yards last year from Dick, who joined his brother Casey at Arkansas.

The two – both who had incredible touchdown catches in the game - should see each other again since Arkansas and Texas are scheduled to play in 2008 in Austin and 2009 in Fayetteville.

"I'm looking forward to playing Dan in the 08 and 09 games in Austin and Fayetteville," Williams said. "I think they are going to be real good games. I was taking notes on him. I was watching everything he did – how he runs routes and how he gets off the ball and what he does after he catches the ball.

"He is a outstanding wide receiver," Williams added. "I think the only thing he needs to improve on is looking the ball in, but I learned some things from him."

Buckner (6-5, 210, 4.6) was equally impressed with Williams.

"He is a great wide receiver is a great combination of speed and size," Buckner said. ‘He is going to be a great one in college."

That's the same opinion the future Longhorn wideout has of Nathan Dick.

"As far as I can see he is a true all-around quarterback," Buckner said. "They used to say he couldn't run, but he ran well for us last year when the pocket would collapse or no one was open. He has a real strong arm and I think Arkansas got them a great one in Nathan. He can put it in the hole right where it needs to be."

Dick spent the spring trying to get Buckner to change his commitment from Texas and eventually join him at Arkansas.

"Right when I committed to Texas, Nathan was telling me that I need to take that back and come on to Arkansas with him," Buckner said. "He was telling me about the new OC (David Lee) that worked with the Dallas Cowboys, but he is realizing now he can't break me and I am going to go to Texas."

Adams (6-1, 180, 4.4), who said again on Saturday that he plans to get his recruitment over before the season and choose between Arkansas, USC, Florida and some 10 other schools, had the job of holding down Buckner Friday despite giving up four inches and about 30 pounds.

"He's a great one, but I didn't let him get anything and just tried to make him work for everything," Adams said. "When you have got a great one to go up against like him, you just have to raise your game to that level and I feel like that is what I did."

Heritage Hall finished second in its pool behind CAC, but came back strong Saturday to win all five games it played.

That included whipping Rogers (28-21) and Pulaski Academy (30-26) in sectional play and then downing Shreveport (La.) Captain Shreve (42-35), Harding Academy (30-28) and Allen in the championship bracket.

In the consolation brackets, Bryant downed Fountain Lake 23-2 in the Baptist Health division (for first-round losers) and CAC topped Warren 20-18 in the Alltel Division (for second round losers).

Dan Buckner

Joe Adams

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