After a offseason of working hard and even learning a thing or two this summer from Peyton Manning, Camden Fairview quarterback Jim Youngblood is ready to get down to business.
Although it's just a scrimmage, Monday night's high school football jamboree in Warren featuring the Cardinals, the Lumberjacks, Texarkana and Bearden has been much anticipated for a while.
Youngblood (6-3, 217, 4.69) will be just one of a whopping 7 University of Arkansas commitments on the field tonight with a couple of other D-1 talents also expected for the star-studded event.
"We feel like we are ready to go and we have really been looking forward to this," Youngblood said. "There's going to be a lot of great football players out there tonight and it's good knowing that a lot of them are going to Arkansas with me because we are friends and I know what great players they are.
"But we are all very competitive so all that friend stuff goes out of the way when the whistle blows," Youngblood added. "We are all about doing our best to help our teams win."
Camden Fairview features Youngblood and fellow UA commits in, defensive lineman LaVunce Askew (6-3, 278, 4.8) and tailback De'Anthony Curtis (5-11, 211, 4.4) – the number one player in the state per the Hawgs Illustrated rankings.
That bunch leads a team that went 11-1 last season, winning their first 11 before being blown out against Pulaski Academy in the state playoffs.
"I think that we have all worked hard every day since that game and we learned a lot during that PA game," Youngblood said. "It sure showed us that you have to show up every play of every game and not think about how good you have been in the past."
Youngblood threw for over 2,000 yards, rushed for over 800 more and accounted for 33 touchdowns.
Warren boasts UA commits in wideouts Jarius Wright (5-11, 180, 4.34), Greg Childs (6-5, 200, 4.6) and Chris Gragg (6-3, 180, 4.6) as well as cornerback prospect Basmine Jones (6-2, 210, 4.5).
Defending Class 6A state champion Texarkana has running back Dennis Johnson (5-9, 190, 4.4), who has an offer from Arkansas but has not yet announced his decision.
Bearden has a star player in DeWayne Watts (6-1, 180, 4.4), who has earned the nickname Showtime for his exploits on both offense and defense.
"I think this scrimmage is really going to be something special and there is a reason that people have built it up," Youngblood said. "It's going to be some great competition, lots of speed and lots of people capable of making big plays."
Speaking of big plays, Youngblood got a chance to spend time this summer with NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, who led the Indianapolis Colts to NFL championship last year.
The Super Bowl-winning quarterback, his dad Archie and his brother Eli hold the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana each summer.
"I don't know if I learn anything new or refine anything with my throws, but I know I learn so much about the mental part of the game from Peyton," Youngblood said. "I got a chance to sit down and talk with him at length and go over the mental approach to the game – what he looks for even before he gets to the line of scrimmage and the play begins.
"It was a just a wonderful experience for me and I learn so much from spending time with Peyton, Eli and Drew Stanton," Youngblood said. "I'm so happy that I went to the camp."
Youngblood was Arkansas' third commitment of a 2008 class that has since swelled to 20.
"I think things started off kind of slow, but then it just really took off," Youngblood said. "Not only are we getting commitments, but getting them from high quality athletes with a lot of potential. I think the skies the limit the program and I think this might end up being the best recruiting class that Arkansas has ever had before it's over with."
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Scout On the Road: SeptemberScout takes a look at some of the top prospects we saw in person during the month of September...
Scout FootballYesterday at 2:00 PM
Longhorns Preview Oklahoma StateTexas offensive players discuss the Longhorns' upcoming game at Oklahoma State to kickoff Big 12 Conference play.
Horns DigestMonday at 6:21 PM
Louisiana CB 'Real Close' to a DecisionIt may not be too long before one of the top cornerbacks in Louisiana makes his decision. Four schools are high on his list and you can get the latest here...
Scout FootballMonday at 6:15 AM
JC defensive back talks ISU official visitOver the weekend, Iowa State played host to one of their top 2017 targets in the current recruiting cycle in Paramount, CA three-star JUCO CB Keisean Nixon. This visit for the…
AllCyclonesSunday at 6:34 PM
TCU vs Iowa State primerAfter falling in double-overtime to Arkansas, TCU looks to get back to their winning ways against Iowa State.
Horned Frog Insider09/15/2016