Daven­port col­umn

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS - Email Richard Daven­port at rdav­en­port@arkansason­line.com RICHARD DAVEN­PORT

Parkview fresh­man Erin Out­ley’s foot­ball ca­reer is off to a strong start with 6 re­cep­tions for 137 yards and 3 touch­downs in 3 games. Pa­tri­ots Coach Brad Bold­ing com­pares him to for­mer Parkview star Keith Jack­son.

Lit­tle Rock Parkview foot­ball Coach Brad Bold­ing has pro­duced sev­eral highly re­garded prospects in the past and said he be­lieves fresh­man tight end Erin Out­ley has a chance to be spe­cial.

Out­ley, 6-4, 235 pounds, was also a stand­out for Arkansas All Red and Team Jahs 2021 dur­ing spring and sum­mer basketball. Bold­ing said he thinks he can be sim­i­lar to an­other for­mer Pa­tri­ots star who went on to star in col­lege and the NFL.

“His ath­leti­cism is off the charts,” Bold­ing said. “I’m never go­ing to en­cour­age the kid to play foot­ball only be­cause he’s so good in basketball. He’s one of the top play­ers in the state in basketball for his age group. But I did tell some­body the other day if that kid was a foot­ball-only kid and he still may — he is just so young — I said he could be an­other Keith Jack­son. He could be that good.”

Jack­son, also a tight end, played at Parkview in 1981-1983 be­fore be­ing an All-Amer­i­can at Ok­la­homa. He played nine sea­sons in the NFL.

Dur­ing his eight sea­sons at North Lit­tle Rock High School, Bold­ing coached the late Al­tee Ten­penny, who played run­ning back at Alabama, re­ceiver K.J. Hill, who’s at Ohio State, and run­ning back Juan Day, who signed with Arkansas and is now at Stephen F. Austin.

“I’ve just been around too many great play­ers,” Bold­ing said. “[Out­ley] has the abil­ity if he keeps work­ing hard and stays grounded and doesn’t let any kind of fame or any­thing like that go to your head, he could be the best I’ve coached.”

Out­ley, who’s draw­ing early in­ter­est from Arkansas and Auburn, has 6 re­cep­tions for 137 yards and 3 touch­downs in 3 games for the 4-2 Pa­tri­ots. His spe­cial tal­ent is no­tice­able de­spite his young age.

“He’s al­ready stand­ing out above every­body when’s he out there play­ing as a ninth grader,” Bold­ing said.

Bold­ing cred­its Out­ley’s mother and fa­ther for rais­ing a fun-lov­ing young man.

“Erin is a fun kid to be around,” Bold­ing said. “He has such an in­cred­i­ble since of hu­mor and per­son­al­ity. The kids love him.”

FAM­ILY AC­CEP­TANCE

When corner­back By­ron Hanspard Jr. vis­ited the Arkansas Ra­zor­backs for the Florida game last year, he called his mother to tell her he wanted to com­mit to the Hogs.

Yolanda Hanspard told him to hold off un­til she and her hus­band could see the Ra­zor­backs for them­selves. Af­ter vis­it­ing Fayetteville on March 14, Hanspard pledged to the Hogs a day later with the bless­ing of his par­ents.

Af­ter meet­ing with Coach Bret Bielema, Yolanda and By­ron Sr. said they were sold on what the head Hog had to say to their son.

“He wasn’t re­ally talk­ing too much about foot­ball and just mak­ing cer­tain that he un­der­stood he was a per­son first and foot­ball is a part of what he’s go­ing to be there for,” By­ron Sr. said. “But he wanted to make sure he de­vel­ops him as a per­son and to be a great leader, some­one that peo­ple look up to and that you never em­bar­rass your­self or em­bar­rass your fam­ily or em­bar­rass the team.”

Hanspard, 6-1, 188, 4.44 sec­onds in the 40-yard dash, of De­soto, Texas, chose the Ra­zor­backs over nu­mer­ous schol­ar­ship of­fers, in­clud­ing ones from Ore­gon, Ok­la­homa State, Colorado and Mis­sis­sippi State. He’s been se­lected to play in the Un­der Ar­mour All Amer­i­can game at Or­lando, Fla., in Jan­uary.

Yolanda Hanspard said she ad­mits there was some hes­i­ta­tion on her part be­cause he’s al­ways wanted By­ron and his brother, Bryon, who’s a stand­out ju­nior re­ceiver for De­soto, to play to­gether in col­lege while also hav­ing con­cerns about the five-hour drive to Fayetteville.

“When we went there I was pretty much want­ing to re­main neu­tral,” she said. “But for me, that talk with Coach B, I al­ways look for con­fir­ma­tion and for me I didn’t feel like it was a show. I didn’t feel like it was staged, but it was some of the same mes­sages and things we try and tell BJ to be care­ful about.

“Those were the same ex­act things he was talk­ing about. It wasn’t all about foot­ball, it wasn’t all about the game, it was about who he was and things he needs to be mind­ful of off the field and I just ap­pre­ci­ate that so much and I was like this is what he needs.”

Yolanda Hanspard said she said left Fayetteville feel­ing good about her son be­ing a Ra­zor­back.

“Coach B, that’s a good man,” she said. “I was proud when he made his de­ci­sion. I was com­fort­able with that.”

By­ron Hanspard Sr. was an All-Amer­i­can run­ning back at Texas Tech and won the Doak Walker Award in 1996 be­fore play­ing two sea­sons with the At­lanta Fal­cons. He said he was im­pressed with the at­mos­phere around Arkansas’ Fred W. Smith foot­ball cen­ter.

“It was just a great fam­ily at­mos­phere. The coaches were very warm,” he said. “We didn’t see any fake or phoni­ness to them. We just felt the gen­uine love and con­cern for [Bielema].”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.