National Signing Day promises to be active and a bit curious in Conway on Wednesday.
It’s the first day this year that high school and junior college football prospects can sign their official letters of intent with institutions.
The curiosity comes from the makeup of the first recruiting class at the University of Central Arkansas by new head coach Steve Campbell, who took over in December, succeeding Clint Conque, after a highly successful stint at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
Campbell will review his first class at a 3 p.m. news conference Wednesday in the board room at Wingo Hall. The public is invited. The Log Cabin Democrat will livestream the event at thecabin.net.
UCA has about 25 commitments from players from 11 states. Campbell and his staff are expected to sign about six players from Arkansas and six from Mississippi, where Campbell has connections from having coached their in both junior college and Delta State. One of those expected to sign is Antwon Wells, who was the leading rusher for him at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College last year.
The new UCA class is expected to be across the board as far as positions.
A new element on signing day will take place concerning Hendrix College, which will assemble its second team in 53 years this fall.
As a NCAA Division III member, Hendrix is not allowed to award athletic scholarships and consequently, its recruits cannot sign letters of intent, making a signing day irrelevant in Division III.
However, many players who are going to Division III schools (almost all who have already been granted academic aid) sign non-binding commitment papers that day as an affirmation of their decision.
One of those will be Conway defensive back Anthony Tufu, who will put his signature to a commitment to play for Hendrix as part of a mass signing ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the high school auditorium.
Counting Tufu, eight CHS players will sign with seven different schools.
Besides Tufu, they are:
A. J. Burton and Cortez Akins, Ouachita Baptist
Jagger Barnett, Faulkner University
Malik Clemons, Arkansas-Monticello
Sidney Moore, Southern Arkansas
Beau Walter, Northwestern State at St. Paul (Minn.)
Arbnor Prevulkaj, Southwest Minnesota State
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema plans to present his 2014 signing class at two events in Fayetteville and Little Rock. Signing Day on the Hill is set for Wednesday night at the Fayetteville Town Center, while Signing Day in the Rock is scheduled for Thursday night at The Metroplex in Little Rock.
New Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson will also highlight his new class to the public. The Red Wolves plan an official Signing Day press conference on Wednesday in Jonesboro.
The national signing period ends April 1.