Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Pettway among the best in 2015 class
Junior La'Michael Pettway of Nashville will likely play receiver in college. Photo courtesy of Nashville Leader
After viewing a few seconds of video of Nashville junior athlete La’Michael Pettway, one realizes there’s little doubt he’s a high D-1 talent.
Pettway, 6-3, 195, 4.50 seconds in the 40 yard dash, was named an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Super Sophomore preseason team last year, but was limited in playing time after suffering a hand injury.
“He’s probably gained 25 to 30 pounds since last year,” said Nashville Coach Billy Dawson. “He’s long, athletic. He has some quick twitch to him. He’s a long strider, when he’s running it doesn’t look like he is because he’s so long.”
Pettway, who plays quarterback for the Scrappers, has completed 31 of 54 passes for 329, 5 touchdowns and has thrown 2 interceptions this season. He also has 37 rushes for 209 yards and a touchdown along with 5 receptions for 87 yards and one touchdown.
He has a scholarship offer from Nebraska while drawing strong interest from Arkansas.
“The first team we played was his first game at quarterback,” Dawson said.
The talented prospect attended Arkansas’ game against Samford in Little Rock and will visit the Hogs for Saturday’s Texas A&M game in Fayetteville.
“I had a pretty good time in Little Rock and I felt pretty comfortable,” Pettway said. “The coaching staff showed me a good time.”
He and his lead recruiter, tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. have been communicating.
“We’re creating a good bond,” Pettway said.
Dawson said he sees Pettway playing receiver in college.
“I think he’s that outside guy,” Dawson said. “A vertical threat guy, a big long guy.”
Pettway is up for playing any position.
“Wherever coach puts me is where I go,” he said. “Wherever he puts me to win as a team, I’m all for it.”
Dawson is high on Pettway's skill level.
“We’ve had some great athletes through here,” Dawson said. “We had a kid a few years ago named A.J. Whitmore and he played at Tulsa. He was 5-8 and this kid is 6-3 and still has another year. I really think he’ll be a 210 pound kid when he leaves here. He’s 195 now and he has zero body fat. I think we just hit the tip of the ice berg to where he’s going.”
Pettway, who lived in Alabama before moving to Arkansas in the third grade, isn’t just a one-sport athlete.
“I do all of it basically,” Pettway said. “I play baseball, basketball and track.”
He participates in almost every event in track and field and competed in the 2013 Arkansas State High School Decathlon Championship.
”I run the 110 hurdles, the 300 hurdles and do the triple jump, long jump, high jump, pole vault,” Pettway said. “I run the 100, 200. I participate in the mile relay, the 4x100.”
Dawson said Ole Miss and Texas Tech have started to show interest in Pettway.
“That’s all been in the last two and half to three weeks,” Dawson said.
Dawson said Pettway is very coachable.
“He wants to be good,” Dawson said. “He got hurt last year. He had some pins put in his hand. I bet he didn’t play three full games, maybe four.”