Berna: UA's First 2009 Commit

For the second straight year, a big offensive lineman has jumped on board as the University of Arkansas' first commit - this time it is Fayetteville star and 2009 prospect Colby Berna (6-4, 275).

Fayetteville High offensive lineman Colby Berna – who is already on board as the University of Arkansas' first football commitment for 2009 - can remember just the moment he knew he wanted to be a Razorback.

Berna (6-4, 275), who will be ranked as the top player in the state when Hawgs Illustrated's preseason rankings come out in June, was born in Fayetteville, but then his family moved to Texas and then on Oklahoma.

The family then moved back to Fayetteville at age 9 and his dad took him to see a Razorback football game.

"I can remember the exact moment," Berna said. "We had move to Oklahoma for awhile and our house got wiped out by a tornado. My parents said we moving back to Arkansas and I was like ‘no, I am a Sooners fan' and starting crying.

"But then my first Arkansas game was the Tennessee game where Clint Stoerner hit Anthony Lucas in the back of the end zone (in 1999) and I knew right then and have known ever since then that I wanted to be a Razorback."

Berna, an All-Arkansas performer who helped lead Fayetteville to the Class 7A state title this season, got just that opportunity when new Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino and his staff offered him a scholarship in January.

Now that that the 2008 class has been put to bed, the Fayetteville star has committed to be the first 2009 guy on board and will have a ceremony at Fayetteville High today at 3 p.m.

"I feel really honored because what they saw in me made them decide to offer me that quickly," Berna said. "It shows they think I can be a great player at Arkansas.

As far as me committing this early, I just don't think I sure waste another coach's time when I know that I am going to be a Razorback," Berna said. "I also want to be able to help recruit the next class by taking to the other prospects at Junior Days and stuff like that. I want to do my part just like some of the guys did this year."

Berna has had a couple of visits with Petrino and offensive line coach Mike Summers.

"Our relationship is just starting, but I really like Coach Petrino and Coach Summers," Berna said. "They have treated myself, my parents and my sister very nice. They seem like they are a really great coaching staff. I really look forward to playing for them."

Berna said he got excited Wednesday thinking about his signing date – now less than a year away.

"I was just telling my dad today, I get to sign a year from now," Berna said. "I can start counting down the days."

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