Eyes Wide Open

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson writes about Fayetteville High's Colby Berna (6-4, 275), who participated in the U.S. Army All-American Junior Combine this past weekend in San Antonio. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event on the Arkansas Toyota Dealers website. Click on a banner for details.

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Fayetteville High junior offensive lineman Colby Berna had an eye-opening experience in San Antonio this past weekend.

Berna (6-4, 275) – who helped lead the Purple Bulldogs to the Class 7A state title – was on hand for the U.S. Army All-American Combine Friday and Saturday at the Alamodome.

"I got to go up against the best players from all over the country from states like California and New York and it was really something," Berna said. "While it showed me that I can feel pretty good about the direction I am headed, it also showed me what I needed to work on when it comes to strength and technique."

Berna, who is receiving interest already from Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Kansas State and Texas, was one of over 500 participants in the prestigious camp that draws players from all over the country.

"It was just great competition and shows you how great the players are from around the country," Berna said. "I think it really did me a lot of good to see that type of talent, to get better because of it and to know the level that I am going to have to get to by the time I get to college."

Berna is among the state's top junior prospects that will be on hand Saturday, March 8 for the first Junior Day under Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino's staff.

Obviously being a Fayetteville kid, Berna was somewhat shocked when Arkansas and former head coach Houston Nutt parted ways.

"I was looking forward to playing for Coach Nutt if I got the chance, but I have heard Coach Petrino is an excellent coach and I think the program is going to have great success now that he is here," Berna said.

Berna has been communicating with to staff holdover Tim Horton, who is the new recruiting coordinator and will also coach running backs and tight ends.

"I have been invited to the Junior Day they are having on March 8 and I am looking forward to getting to know the staff better," Berna said. "I really like Coach Horton. He is real talkative and very interesting. I am really happy he got to stay around and I think that is going to be a great thing for Arkansas."

Berna plans to attend camps this summer at Arkansas, Ole Miss and maybe Kansas State.

"It's just going to be an offseason of working on my strength and different aspects of my technique like hand quickness."

While Berna admits he and his teammates are still pretty excited about winning the state title, he also notes that Fayetteville high coaches are trying to work it out of them.

"We've started hitting the off-season work pretty hard and the coaches are working us hard and telling us that one is over with," Berna said. "We've very happy about winning the state title, but we also know that we have to be very hungry to get back there and do it again if we want to have a chance to do so."

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