PB's Skelton likely to wow schools as DB

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Thursday, May 8, 2014
Pine Bluff quarterback Ladarius Skelton (1) avoids a Fort Smith Northside defender in the fourth quarter Friday in Pine Bluff. Skelton rushed 22 times for 93 yards and a touchdown and was 10 of 15 passing for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns as the teams fought to a 31-31 tie.
Photo by JIMMY JONES
Pine Bluff quarterback Ladarius Skelton (1) avoids a Fort Smith Northside defender in the fourth quarter Friday in Pine Bluff. Skelton rushed 22 times for 93 yards and a touchdown and was 10 of 15 passing for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns as the teams fought to a 31-31 tie.

— Pine Bluff has four highly regarded sophomores who have some scholarship offers and interest from schools from across the nation.

One of the four, quarterback LaDarius Skelton took part in his first combine on Saturday and scored a 82.59 at the Nike SPARQ Football Combine at AT&T Stadium. He was electronically timed at 4.88 seconds in the 40 yard dash, had a 30.3 vertical, a 4.31 pro-shuttle time and 34.5 power ball toss.

“My forty time wasn’t want I wanted,” Skelton said. “This was the first time to come to a combine, I have a lot more confidence. I can go back now and work harder and keep improving for next year.”

Skelton's teammates, tight end John Tate has offers from Louisville, Ole Miss and Arkansas State, safety David Beasley has an offer from Arkansas State while running back Romar Reades is awaiting his first.

Skelton, 6-2, 200, rushed 158 times for 974 yards and 8 touchdowns and completed 87 of 152 passes for 1,219 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. Video highlights CLICK HERE

Zebras Coach Bobby Bolding said he’ll add safety duties to Skelton in the fall and believes colleges will like what they see of him as a defensive back.

“He’s not getting any looks right now, but it’s going to happen when they see him play defense,” Bolding said in an earlier interview.

Skelton, who plans to attend camps at Arkansas, Notre Dame and Arkansas State, said Bolding is hearing positive things about him from college coaches.

“He said they really love me,” Skelton said. “They come and see me practicing.”

He embraces the chance to play on both sides of the ball next season.

“I’m going to love that playing both sides of the ball,” Skelton said. “That’s what I really wanted to play last year, but he wanted me to focus on quarterback. This year I’ll pay both sides of the ball and that’s going to help us. I can hit hard and I can read the offense well.”

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