If the University of Arkansas does end up offering a in-state kicker a scholarship in the 2009 class, odds are the young man will be West Memphis standout Paulo Henriques (5-11, 201).
Henriques, regarded as the state's best kicker as well as a standout soccer player, was in attendance at last Saturday's Arkansas-Alabama game.
"If Arkansas offers me, this is for sure where I am going to come," Henriques said. "There's no doubt about that."
A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Henriques was named as the state's top kicker as a junior by several publications and thus was also on the 2008 preseason lists as well.
He drilled a school-record 53-yarder last season, a boot that is the fifth-longest kick in state history.
He is also getting attention from LSU, Arkansas State, Ole Miss and several other schools.
"LSU spoke to me over the summer after I won a camp out there by beating out about 120 kickers and we were kicking off the ground like they do in college," Henriques said. "They told me they were going to call me sometime this year and talk about offering me a scholarship."
Henriques was 11-of-17 last season with two successful ones from over 50 yards and 4 over 40 yards while also making 37-of-40 PATs.
He is 6-of-8 through three games this season, just coming up short on a 55-yarder during his team's 14-14 tie with Helena-West Helena Central.
"It was a tough game," Henriques said. "We were up 14-0 and they ended up coming back in the second half. I attempted a 55-yarder and it fell short, but I was kicking it into the wind coming at me. I am sure it would have went if I had been able to have that wind at my back."
Henriques, who had 18 touchbacks on kickoffs last season, is also a punter who averaged over 40 yards last season and is above that mark again this season.
"I feel like I have a very strong leg and work real hard at getting better all the time," Henriques said. "I think that is a good combination that has helped me."
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