Blowing Up

One of the onlookers at Sunday's University of Arkansas football camp was Fort Gibson (Okla.) linebacker Courtney Gaston (6-5, 215, 4.5), who has an offer from the Razorbacks and several others schools.

One of the prospects who got the most attention at the University of Arkansas one-day football camp on Sunday wasn't even participating.

Fort Gibson (Okla.) linebacker Courtney Gaston (6-5, 215, 4.5), also an outstanding basketball player, was in Fayetteville for an unofficial visit at the same time the camp was going on.

"This was my first time ever over here," Gaston said. "I liked the facilities, I liked the weight room, everybody seems really nice up here. I talked to all the coaches and I like how they coach and everything else. I talked to the linebacker coach (Reggie Johnson).

"(Arkansas assistant) Coach (Garrick) McGee is recruiting me right now and he is really fair," Gaston said. "He calls and tells me the truth. This trip kind of helps me out to get an idea of what the school is like."

Gaston had 111 tackles last season as a 6-3, 210-pound linebacker after not playing as a sophomore and goes into this season as one of the state's Top 10 prospects per the Tulsa World.

He didn't get a lot of attention during his last campaign, but jumped off his highlight tape put together by recently hired head coach D.J. Howell into being a prospect that is beginning to blow up on the recruiting scene.

"I got the job, and I remember one night I was going through some of the game film from the season before," Howell, who takes over at Fort Gibson after spending the past five years as the defensive coordinator at Bixby, told the Tulsa World.

"I started watching this guy making plays," Howell continued. "I couldn't believe it. I was thinking about what a ballplayer he was, but it was late at night and I was tired, so maybe I didn't see things too well. I put the same film on the next morning just to make sure I was seeing the same things. Turns out, I was.

"When Courtney goes, he dominates."

Arkansas, Tulsa, Kansas and Kansas State have already offered with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas among others eying him for football as well.

"Right now I have Kansas, Kansas State and Arkansas that I am looking at," Gaston said. "I haven't made visits yet to Kansas or Kansas State. I am working on some visits to go up there to see how their camps are.

"Hopefully I would be able to come down to a decision pretty soon," Gaston said.

Gaston averaged 14.8 points and 10.5 rebounds a game on the basketball court last season and thought that was his path to college.

"I explained to him that there a lot of 6-3 or 6-4 basketball guys but not a lot of 6-3 guys who can play football," Howell told the Muskogee Phoenix. "The college coaches I've talked to comment about how big he is and how well he moves for a big guy. He can run and change directions and he's 6-3 and 210 pounds. There's not a lot of players around like that."

Not that he is ready to give up on basketball just yet.

"I still love it," he said. "I would like to get a scholarship in both, but if football is where I'm going, that'll be fine."

Courtney Gaston

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