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A few weeks ago the University of Arkansas football coaches spread out to several of the nation’s top prep schools and that effort is paying off this weekend.
The Razorbacks will host three of the country’s top post-graduate prep school players and one junior college player on official visits beginning Friday.
They are Arkansas commit and Hargrave Military Academy offensive lineman Anthony Oden (6-8, 295), Hargrave defensive end Leon Mackey (6-5, 260) and Canadian-born linebacker Benjamin D’Aguliar (6-3, 235) of Fork Union Military Academy.
That trio of guys will be joined by Coffeyville linebacker Paul Worrilow (6-2, 246), a former teammate of Mackey’s who is redshirting this season for the Ravens.
Both Oden and Mackey – two 4-star prospects according to Scout.com, have been key factors in helping Hargrave to a 8-0 start heading into this weekend’s off date.
“We’ve had a great season so far and those two guys have really been big reasons why we have been successful on their sides of the ball,” Hargrave assistant head coach Troy Davis said. “They have both been dominant guys.”
Oden, the younger brother of Portland Trailblazers center Greg Oden, signed with the Razorbacks in 2008 before matriculating to the Chatham, Virginia, boarding school.
“He has played great for us and been our lead guy over there on the offensive line,” Hargrave assistant head coach Troy Davis said. “He’s a big, powerful kid and we couldn’t have asked for any more than we are getting from him.”
Oden, one of 19 current commits in the 2009 class, spent most of his time at tight end and defensive end while playing his high school football in Indiana.
Davis said Oden has made a seemless transition to being a full-time offensive lineman for head coach Robert Prunty.
“He’s had no problems with that at all,” Davis said. “Coach Prunty is a great teacher and he has been very consistent in getting his job done.”
Mackey, a former Deleware high school star and Virginia Tech signee, has been dominant from his defensive end spot.
“He’s having a great year, getting lots of pressure on the quarterback and making a ton of plays,” Davis said. “He has also been very, very consistent for us.”
Mackey obviously has the physique for college football.
“He is big, he is strong and he is quick and that’s a good combination of things,” Davis said. “That’s why a lot of schools are interested in him.”
D’Aguliar is a product of Hamilton, Ontario while Worrilow was named the state of Deleware’s Defensive player of the year for 2007.