Two days after the 2008 national signing date and head coach Bobby Petrino's University of Arkansas football program is already sitting with a pair of 2009 commits.
Fayetteville High offensive lineman Colby Berna (6-4, 275) and West Helana Central cornerback Darius Winston (6-0, 175, 4.4) are already on board a year ahead of the 2009 national signing date.
Berna, who privately committed to Arkansas back on Jan. 14 after being offered a scholarship two days earlier, had a public ceremony at Fayetteville High on Thursday.
"I want to think Coach Petrino and (UA offensive line) Coach (Mike) Summers for giving me this wonderful opportunity," Berna said. "I have always been a Razorback at heart and now in the 2009 class, I can be the first building block in a foundation of a national championship.
"I am honored to be giving my commitment to the University of Arkansas today," Berna said. "Go Hogs."
Berna, who thanked his parents, coaches and teammates in helping his achieve this goal, is a big-time player according to Fayetteville head coach Darryl Patton.
"I truly mean this when I say this – I saw (former Rogers star and current Auburn offensive lineman) Lee Ziemba when he was a junior and I think Colby is even with where he was," Patton said. "I think Colby is a very dominant lineman and when I talk to coaches around the conference and around the state, everybody says the same thing – 54 was a man.
"He's got great feet, he's very physical, he finishes off plays," Patton said. "He needs to get stronger, he needs to get a little bit quicker for the next level, but he is the hardest worker we have and is a very level headed young man. I have no doubt in my mind that he will be where he needs to be going into college next year. He will be a player for the Razorbacks."
Berna wants to aid in the recruiting process for the Razorbacks.
"I felt in being the first commit I would be a little help with the 2009 class by talking to people and help recruit with the coaches and try to get people in," Berna said.
Winston committed privately last Friday after being offered by both Arkansas and Ole Miss.
"Last time I talked to Coach Petrino, he had talked to my coach, and offered me a scholarship." Winston said. "My uncle called the coaches and told them that I was ready to commit.
"I was always dreaming about being able to play for Arkansas," Winston added. "I love that they sent players like Ahmad Carroll, all the players to the NFL, and I grew up watching all those players."
Projected as a cornerback at the next level, Winston said that it is his physical nature that leads him to believe he can play early for the Razorbacks.
"I can play bump and run, and I can be really effective in the return game," Winston said. "As a receiver, I can stretch the field, but it is my speed and size that are my strengths.
Two Future Razorbacks
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