Mark Beard came, he saw, he liked.
Beard (6-5, 300), a Jayhawk All-Conference selection from Coffeyville (KA) Community College, took his official visit to Arkansas this weekend and left impressed.
"It was a beautiful place that I really, really liked," Beard said. "The weight room was just great and I can really see it helping me get to where I want to go. I also thought the stadium was great and really enjoyed being around the players and the coaches."
Beard was one of two official visitors to Arkansas this weekend along with Los Angeles (CA) Harbor defensive end Austin Flynn, who will go home on Monday.
"They treated us really nice," said Beard, a former Birmingham (AL) Minor standout. "Arkansas is really a first-class program."
He is a mid-term graduate that will be redshirt sophomore next season and have three years to play three at his next stop.
"The big thing to me is I want to go somewhere I can play and maybe start right away," Beard said. "I think that opportunity is definitely there for me at Arkansas."
Beard, who originally signed with Troy, is scheduled to visit Mississippi State next weekend and then Georgia.
"I want to take those visits because I told those coaches I would come and I want to be a man of my word," Beard said. "But I really like it at Arkansas. They've got my love right now and it is going to be hard for something to be better than this situation for me."
Beard is friends and former teammates with Coffeyville alum and current Razorback starting defensive tackle Robert Thomas.
"He's a great guy and he has told me how great it is here," Beard said. "He said come and get on board because we are about to win a national title here."
As one would suspect, Beard spent a lot of his time on campus with Arkansas offensive line coach Chris Klenakis.
"He is a great coach who really knows what he is doing," Beard said. "I think he is a guy that could really help develop me."
Beard was listed at 6-3, 295 on the Coffeyville roster this season.
"I've grown," Beard said. "Arkansas measured me this weekend at 6-5, 300."
He's able to use that size to create holes for the backs.
"I think I really get off the ball week and can get people out of the way so my running backs can get yards," Beard said. "I need to keep working on my footwork."
The Red Ravens finished 6-4 and ended their season in the Region VI semifinals with a 45-16 loss to Hutchinson (LA) CC.
"We had a good season, but we certainly could have done better," Beard said. "Now I am just ready to get these visits in, get to my place and get ready to play on the next level."
Fear The Beard
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