Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
Rasmussen and Holliman enjoy trip to War Memorial
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas’ game against Ole Miss at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock on Saturday allowed two junior prospects the chance to experience a SEC game atmosphere.
Defensive end-tight end Zach Rasmussen, 6-3, 247, 4.91 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Heber Springs moved to Arkansas in the summer of 2011 from Cordova, Tenn. where had lived since the age of five and became a Volunteer fan.
He heard the ‘Hog Call’ for the first time in person but soon was able to learned the famous call.
“It took me a little bit but by the second quarter I had it figured out,” Rasmussen said. “It’s really cool.”
Rasmussen, who is seeing interest from Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Illinois, Arkansas State and Memphis, has recorded 39 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovered fumble and a blocked punt this season.
“My hard work during the offseason paid off,” Rasmussen said. “I’m more of a presence in the running game more so than I was last year and I improved on my pass rush.”
Rasmussen, who’s considering mechanical engineering as a major on college, would like to tinker with cars one day.
“I really like working on old cars, maybe like a car restoration business.” he said.
Receiver Deion Holliman of Camden Fairview is a key part of the Cardinals’ 8-0 record because of his elusiveness and ability to make the big play. He too, enjoyed the game.
“I liked the atmosphere,” Holliman said. “I liked how the crowd stayed into it.”
Holliman, 5-8, 170, 4.4 seconds in the 40 yard dash, said the game motivated him to more to try achieve his goal of playing major college football.
“Seeing them and seeing them on national TV,” Holliman said. “That shows what it takes to be there.”
He and his cousin and former Razorback running back De’Anthony Curtis worked out together over the summer. Holliman said he learned to push himself.
“He taught me a lot,” Holliman said. “He taught me during conditioning how to condition my muscles. When I was working out , I was looking at it from a high school pace. I would probably bench and squat and take two to three minutes to do my next sets. De’Anthony was like intensity, hitting the weights fast and not take breaks and do more work.”
The workouts have paid off this season.
“It bettered me on the field,” Holliman said. “I was moving faster My conditioning
Holliman has rushed 22 times for 234 yards, 4 touchdowns and recorded 19 receptions for 361 yards and 6 touchdowns this season.
“I’m quick and already low to the ground,” Holliman said. “So it already makes it hard for defenders to tackle me. My speed and power, I can break through tackles. I can catch the deep ball, run fast, quick routes. When I’m not running the ball I ‘ll block…and try and help my teammates.”
An excellent student, Holliman has a 3.7 grade point average while taking Advancement Placement classes. He’s eyeing mechanical engineering or business as possible majors for college.
“I would like to be a motivational speaker,” he said. “Have camps and help kids and teach them what I’ve learned. I want to do something that I love doing.”
Holliman said his late fumble in the 36-35 loss to Greenwood in the 2010 Class 5A state title game pushes him to be the best he can be.
“It bettered me as a person,” Holliman said. “It pushed me to work hard to not make the same mistakes.”