In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Arroyo Grande (CA) quarterback Brent Vanderveen (6-5, 210), who will arrive Monday for Bobby Petrino's Arkansas Football Camp - which runs Sunday through Tuesday.
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While Bobby Petrino’s Football camp starts on Sunday afternoon, it’s a Monday arrival that is creating a buzz.
That would be Arroyo Grande (CA) quarterback Brent Vanderveen (6-5, 210), who is one of – if not the – top Razorback 2012 recruiting targets.
Arkansas was Vanderveen’s first offer and he has since added offers from Oregon State, Oklahoma State and Arkansas State and drawn interest from UCLA, USC, Washington, Cal, San Deigo State, Northwestern and others.
“I am really excited about getting to see Arkansas,” Vanderveen said. “They just had a great quarterback there in Ryan Mallett, great coaches, they have a great pro-style offense and I am told they have great facilities. I can’t wait to see it for myself.”
Vanderveen passed for 1,402 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed 581 yards and 6 scores last season for a team that went 11-3 and lost in the Southern Section Western Division title game.
“I think I have a strong arm and make good reads and I am working hard to get better in all areas,” Vanderveen said. “The main thing I am working on is my footwork and continuing to improve on stuff like that.”
The scholarship offer from Arkansas came about a month ago during his spring break.
“I was actually playing baseball when I heard about the offer and was just very honored that Arkansas saw something that they liked,” Vanderveen said. “Here’s a great school in the SEC that is one of the elite programs in the country. I was very excited about it all. I was super stoked.”
While he didn’t see any Razorback games live last season, Vanderveen – who has a 4.0 grade point average and scored over 1,300 on the SAT - did see plenty of highlights.
“I got to see Arkansas several times on (ESPN’s) SportCenter and saw how big-time things were and didn’t have any idea that I would have a chance to play for the Razorbacks,” Vanderveen said.
Vanderveen will visit Oklahoma State on Tuesday night and a portion of the day on Wednesday and then take in Oregon State next weekend.
UCLA has asked him to come to camp on July 19th, but he is going to assess the situation after these first three visits.
“Distance is not going to be a factor,” Vanderveen said. “It’s going to be how comfortable I am with the town, the school and the coaches and if I have a chance to come in and compete.
“I want to make my decision sometime this summer,” Vanderveen added. “I would like to have it done before going into the season.”
One of Vanderveen’s assistant baseball coaches is former Oklahoma State baseball star and major leaguer Robin Ventura.
“He has a lot of nice things to say about there (Oklahoma State), but that won’t be a factor in my decision,” Vanderveen said. “I’ll just make the best decision for myself.”
Arkansas and Oklahoma State are also recruiting Arroyo Grande linebacker/safety prospect Seth Jacobs (6-3, 210), who joins offensive lineman Garrett Weinreich (6-6, 295) in giving the school three players with BCS offers.
Jacobs, who visited Arkansas and Oklahoma State last week, played eight different positions for his team last season.
“Seth is just a great athlete and you can put him anywhere and he is probably better than the person that was at that spot,” Vanderveen said. “We think we can go back to the championship and win it this time. We have the whole offensive line coming back, great receivers and our defense is pretty good.”