Battle-Tested Berna

Fayetteville offensive lineman Colby Berna (6-4, 275) is one of the state's best juniors and is already getting attention from the University of Arkansas and Mississippi State.

Fayetteville junior offensive lineman Colby Berna got a surprise in the mail early last week.

Then came another on Saturday.

The surprises were letters from University of Arkansas and Mississippi State expressing interest in the 6-4, 275-pound Berna, who will no doubt get plenty correspondence from major college football programs over the next 17 months or so.

"It makes me feel good," Berna said. "I know it is just a letter and doesn't mean much, but it lets me know they are watching me and I have got to keep doing what I am doing and dominating on the field."

UA head coach Houston Nutt was on hand to watch both Berna and mammoth Russellville senior offensive lineman Matt Hall (6-10, 320), who is already committed to the Razorbacks, two Fridays ago.

Berna attended Nutt's football camp on the UA campus this summer.

"I really like their program and think they have some great coaches," Berna said. "It's a big thrill to be recruited by the Razorbacks."

Fayetteville is 2-0-1 this season after a surprising 28-28 to a Pine Bluff team that has improved, but has won just one game in the past two years.

Pine Bluff led 28-7 at halftime.

"We were shocked because they were 0-2 and we were expecting to just come in and walk all over them," Berna said. "They weren't having it. They came in more excited, they were enthusiastic and more fired up and we weren't and it showed in the first half.

"Our coaches made adjustments and they talked to us about being enthusiastic and fired up in the second half and said we are going to find a way to win the game," Berna said. We came back and our offense finally started to clicking."

Berna is part of a young Fayetteville line.

"We are real inexperienced," Berna said. "We have two returning starters in me and Adam Brown. The new guys are all doing a real good job. The coaches thought our strength was going to be passing, but we have showed that we can run the ball."

Individually, it's one facet of the game that Berna thinks he needs to concentrate on improving most.

"I feel good about my pass and run blocking, but I need to work on my blitz pick-up," Berna said. "I am going to keep working hard to get better."

Fayetteville hosts Fort Smith Northside (3-0) Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in both team's 7A-West Conference opener.

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