Colby Berna may have been the first prospect to orally commit to Arkansas' 2009 recruiting class last February, but the Fayetteville High offensive lineman isn't laying low this winter.
Berna -- almost a year after telling Bobby Petrino he was going to play college football for the Razorbacks -- said he's been pretty busy talking to other prospects and helping the school's recruiting efforts.
"Being able to just kind of help the coaches out when they're not allowed to call is great," Berna said last Friday. "I'm just like another coach right now, calling people and filling them in on what's going on."
It's not an uncommon practice around the country and so far Berna said he's having a blast pitching in.
His speed dial list includes highly touted St. Louis running back Ronnie Wingo, who is considering Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Alabama. He's also spoken with Texas receiver Cobi Hamilton, who also is being courted by Missouri and Oklahoma State.
Berna said he doesn't harass the players and press them to choose the Razorbacks. Instead, he's just there to answer any questions they might have.
"I just kind of talk to them about the coaching staff," Berna said. "That's one of the main concerns for the players: The coaching. I said, ‘It's hard, but you see results. That's what people want is results when they come play football. It's business, but they'll do anything for you. I've seen that.' ... That's also good for the parents knowing the coaches will do that."
Berna, who is rated as a four-star prospect on a five-star scale by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, is also preparing himself for college football.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder is trying to get over a disappointing senior season at Fayetteville High. On top of the team's struggles, Berna also battled with a dislocated left shoulder that plagued him all year.
But Berna said time off has helped. He recently bench pressed 295 pounds for the first time in about a year.
He's now working out four times a week at 6 a.m. in preparation for Arkansas' conditioning program.
"It takes a little of getting used to," said Berna, who will enroll in May. "But once you get used to it, it's not bad."
Berna, who said Arkansas' coaches still check in with him once a week, will take his official visit this month.
Originally, it was scheduled for next weekend, but Berna said it has been pushed back to Jan. 9-11.
He said the reason is simple: The Razorbacks want their first oral commitment to help them in person on one of the program's biggest recruiting weekend.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Berna said. "It will be fun getting to know all the guys I'm going to be playing with and getting closer to the coaches and some of the players that are already up there now."
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