There always seems to be at least one unheralded player in the state of Arkansas that jumps out at the Razorback coaches during the spring evaluation period.
This year that young man is Van Buren linebacker Quentin George (6-2, 220), who is on the verge of getting an offer from the University of Arkansas and several other schools.
"This a kid who played at 190 pounds last season and now is a 220-pounder with 4.6 speed and may have just turned 16, but is a man physically," Van Buren head coach Mike Lee said. "The first thing about him that jumps out at you is his versatility and how he can go sideline to sideline and make any play."
Arkansas – where he will be in camp on June 7-10 - has joined Tulsa, Arkansas State, Southern Illinois and UCA in stopping by Van Buren's spring practice the last few weeks.
"All of those schools have led me to believe they are going to offer him soon after they get a look at him in camp," Lee said. "He has blown up so fast in these last couple of weeks and I am taking more calls each day from schools who are just finding out about him. It's crazy."
George is coming off a junior season in which he had 48 tackles while splitting his time between offense and defense.
He also had 6 tackles for lost yardage, a sack, 2 hurries, an interception he took back for a touchdown and 5 pass break ups.
"He is very projectable, very versatile and is just going to get bigger and stronger because he is just 16," Lee said. "We had played him at outside linebacker and strong safety as a junior, but we are moving him to the mike (middle) linebacker with his added weight this year. He can run from sideline to sideline and it's going to be fun to watch him control things this season."
George is also taking on a key leadership role according to Lee.
"He makes all our calls and box checks in the games and is a leader in our locker room," Lee said. "We lean on him a lot and he produces on and off the field.
George and his teammates, who will finish up spring practice with a Tuesday night scrimmage, are looking to take a big leap from last year's 2-9 mark.
"I think we have more skill and more talent this year," Lee said. "Everything is relative to where we play. There is nothing easy about our conference.
"But we are going to be in the second year of our system and don't feel like we are behind the eight ball any more," Lee added. "We feel like we are poised for success and Quentin is going to be a big, big part of that."
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