Cantrell Looks Like Big Arkansas Steal
During a recent Arkansas Elite Camp, Razorback 2015 tight end pledge Austin Cantrell of Roland, Okla., showed what all the fuss was about.
There's not many 6-4, 249-pound athletes who glide as well as Cantrell does.
"I think I am a very good athlete and I think sometimes people are surprised at how well I move for somebody my size," Cantrell said. "I've been blessed and I just keep working hard."
Cantrell, who lined up mostly at H-back last season for Roland, got a chance to work with Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney during his afternoon in Fayetteville.
"I've been playing some tight end since the ninth grade, but we don't have a tight end coach at Roland so I don't know all I could about the position," Cantrell said. "It was great to get a chance to work with Coach Lunney. I learned a lot and I know I am going to learn a lot more working with him in the future. I'm excited about it."
He'll be back in Fayetteville for the last Arkansas Elite Camp on July 24.
"Anytime I can get up there to Fayetteville and learn from the coaches, I am going to take advantage of it because those are going to be my coaches in college," Cantrell said. "It helps me get a head start on what they want from me."
The Razorbacks got to Cantrell with an offer before in-state schools Oklahoma and Oklahoma State did and got him locked up early.
Roland, which is just past the Arkansas-Oklahoma border, is just an hour away from Fayetteville anyway so it is closer than either Norman or Stillwater to his home.
"I just like everything about Arkansas – the coaches, the facilities and atmosphere and that's where I am going," Cantrell said. "I think everybody's gotten that message now and is just leaving me alone."
Arkansas has commitments from Cantrell and Fayetteville tight end C.J. O'Grady (6-5, 230) and it's no secret the Razorbacks want to add Dumas tight end Will Gragg (6-4, 245) as well.
Bret Bielema, Arkansas' head coach, is well known for using his tight ends and has five in the NFL right now.
"Coach Bielema really uses the tight ends a lot and he wants to get us all in there and making plays," Cantrell said. "Coach Lunney mentioned that they would like to use me as a tight end and an H-back and that would be fine with me.
"I really like H-back anyway because I love blocking, catching a few passes and even getting to run the ball," Cantrell added. "I think that would be fun for me on the college level just like it is now."
Cantrell wasn't in any drills with 2015 Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey, but did have a chance to watch him throw and chatted with him for a bit.
"He can really throw the football," Cantrell said. "I'm really looking forward to working with him in the future."
Cantrell rushed 41 times for 334 and nine touchdowns and caught 9 passes for 228 yards and another couple of touchdowns.
He also had 62 tackles with 10 sacks while lining up at defensive end and also punted for his team.
"I stayed really busy and didn't really come off the field, but that's how I like it," Cantrell said. "I don't really like standing around much."
He'll add some middle linebacker on defense this season for Roland.
"I'm looking forward to that because like I said I love the contact," Cantrell said. "Just want to do whatever I can to help my team."