RECRUITING: Webb Will Take His Time To Pick From 5

As one of the Springdale (AR) Five, Bartley Webb is accustomed to dealing with recruiters from Division I schools. The big offensive lineman has well over 20 scholarship offers but there are five that stand out and those are the ones he will focus on until he makes his choice.

(Bartley Webb profile)

Webb has spent the summer visiting the five schools on his list, so he's got a pretty good idea about the positives and negatives of each one. Now that he's done the visiting, he can spend the rest of the summer figuring things out at his own pace.

"So far it's been a busy summer," he said. "I have been to camps at Texas, Arkansas, Michigan and Notre Dame. Those are the four I am looking at along with Florida. I have officially cut my list to those five. I haven't made official visit dates. To be perfectly honest, during the last few weeks I have kind of backed off."

Webb spoke as if some time away from the recruiting process would be good for him. There is no timetable to announce his choice and he will not allow anyone to push him into a decision.

"Basically I am going to commit when I am ready, and not any time before," he said.

Of his five schools, Florida is the only one that he didn't camp but he did stop in on an unofficial visit. He traveled to Gainesville with his coach, Gus Malzahn, along with teammates Ben Cleveland and Damian Williams. Webb must have seen enough on that visit to still list Florida in his top five.

"It went good," he said. "When we were there Coach (Urban) Meyer wasn't there. He was at the SEC meeting in Atlanta, but I got to meet with Coach (John) Hevesy and Coach (Dan) Mullen. Overall it was a good trip. I just liked the way that every varsity sport there is one of or the best. I got to meet a couple of the offensive linemen."

Springdale is just a few miles outside of Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas. Because of its proximity, this is the school he grew up loving and it is the one with which he is most familiar.

"The tradition here [Arkansas] is really good," he said. "Coach Nutt …when he got here he really turned the program around. In nine years he went to eight bowl games. He has really turned it around, plus the fact it is ten miles down the road."

His respect for the Texas program was very evident in the interview. Webb certainly knows his stuff when it comes to the schools he is looking at and Texas has a lot to offer for Webb.

"The tradition just speaks for itself. Coach (Mack) Brown and Coach (Mac) McWhorter, they have a way of making you feel at home when you are there for a visit. You kind of get just a good feeling whenever you are there.

He placed a high priority on the coaching staff at Notre Dame. Again Webb has looked into Notre Dame as much as they have looked at him.

"They have the great tradition too," he said. "They are kind of getting a new start with Coach (Charlie) Weiss there, an entirely new coaching staff and new tradition. You have a guy responsible for being in the last four Super Bowls in charge. It is a unique situation up there. Coach Haywood is recruiting me."

He is quite familiar with the tradition at the University of Michigan. When he was camping in Ann Arbor, he had a chance to meet a coaching legend.

"Back to back Rose Bowl appearances [are impressive]," he said. "Coach (Lloyd) Carr has been there for as long as I remember. Of course, Coach (Bo) Schembechler when was there. Those are two great names that put that program at such a high stature. When I went to camp there he [Schembechler] was a guest speaker. He was telling us his mindset was that he demanded the best out of his players and himself. He demanded every player had that same mental attitude."

He may not know when, but he knows what he wants the next school to be. He is serious about making sure his life is taken care of outside of the football part of his career.

"I want a school with a great education," he said. "I want to major in education or Kinesiology. I also want a good player/coach relationship. I want a good player relationship place, a family oriented team. The city is important that the college is in. I say to myself, if I go and get hurt and can't ever play again, where am I going to be happy living and going to college."

Bartley Webb has seen all the schools he is going to see. Now it's time to put all the facts together so he can come up with the right choice. His decision could come today, tomorrow, or in January --- only Webb knows and even he may not know right now. The fans of five schools will have to just hold on for the ride, much like Webb.

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