Arterburn close to a decision

The newest blip on the Aggie radar is Aaron Arterburn, the senior from Rockwall whose stock has risen around the country as he showcases his skills his final season. Where does he stand in the recruiting process? Websider's David Sandhop brings you the answers.

In this era of early recruiting, a high school prospect that misses his junior season due to injury is typically lost in the shuffle. With many schools now filling up recruiting classes months in advance of Signing Day, it is critical to impress college coaches during that junior or campaign. So when Rockwall athlete Aaron Arterburn missed his junior season to a knee injury, the family knew they had to be proactive in getting him noticed by D-1 football programs.

"We worked with former coach Jerry Pettibone on getting Aaron's name out there," Tony Arterburn (Aaron's father) said. "We made a highlight DVD of his first four games and mailed it out to 7-8 schools that Aaron was interested in attending."

Apparently, the coaches liked what they saw of the 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker who also plays on both sides of the ball as a senior. Arterburn heard back from all but one school, and the offers have started rolling in the past couple of weeks.

"After we sent the tape out, we heard back from every school except SMU. I had been to their camp previously when I was still coming back from the injury and I guess they thought I was too slow," Arterburn said. "But I heard back from Purdue, Northwestern, TCU, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. They couldn't believe they missed on me until now."

So far this season, Arterburn has registered over 60 solo tackles, 25 assists, six sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and an interception returned for a touchdown. Speed and his ability to cover ground is his trademark on the field. He's been timed at 4.48 in the forty at the high school.

"I feel I'm pretty fast and I can cover a lot of ground pursuing the football," Arterburn said. "Teams have been running away from me, so I need to use my speed to get to the ball. I also think my versatility in run support or pass coverage is a strength of my game. I can play anywhere on the field where I'm needed."

Arterburn and his parents took their first official visit to TCU last weekend, and he was very impressed with the Horned Frog coaching staff and the program's defense.

"They play incredible defense. They beat up on Wyoming pretty bad when I was there," Arterburn said. "But the highlight was just hanging out with all the players. They are all down to Earth and good guys. I had fun and we connected. The coaches are all great too. It was a good trip."

After the TCU visit, the Arterburns drove down to College Station Sunday afternoon to visit with the staff at Texas A&M, a team that also showed immediate interest in the linebacker prospect after seeing his highlight DVD. He attended the A&M home game with Texas Tech two weeks ago, but this trip was to discuss the possibility of a scholarship offer. As with many schools, Texas A&M is almost filled for the Class of 2009.

"I like them a lot and they were excited to see me," Arterburn said. "Coach Sherman is a good guy. He has so much experience in the NFL. I think he would be a great coach to play for. Coach Kines is really good friends with Coach Smith (Rockwall head coach). He's like a second father to me and says Coach Kines would be a great coach for me. Not only is he the defensive coordinator, but he'd be my position coach at linebacker."

With numbers in short supply, Texas A&M did offer the Rockwall linebacker a scholarship for January 2010, meaning he'd have to pay his way that first fall semester, something his father has agreed to do if his son chooses the Aggies.

There are other reasons why the speedy linebacker is interested in Texas A&M.

"I grew up liking Texas A&M for some reason," Arterburn said. "I have a lot of friends that go there and I like the family feel to the place."

However, there are a lot of things he likes about TCU which is making this a tough decision for Arterburn. He enjoyed the players and coaches at TCU, and the defensive schemes fit his style of play. The school is also close to home, just an hour away from Rockwall. With that said, Arterburn is ready to end the process and get his decision out of the way so he can concentrate on the remainder of his senior season.

"I'm already getting tired of the process," Arterburn said. "I'm going to talk it over with my parents tomorrow night and then I'll call all the coaches and inform them of my decision probably Thursday."

Arterburn says that a connection to the team and especially to the head coach and position coach will be most important in his decision later this week.

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