Ex-Hog grooming one of his own

By: Richard Davenport Richard Davenport's Twitter account
Published: Sunday, March 11, 2018
Leroy Hood
( Anthony Reyes)
Leroy Hood

Former Arkansas Razorback Leroy Hood is now the head coach of Turner County (Ga.), and he's doing his best to give one of his players an opportunity to check out the Hogs.

Hood signed with the Hogs in 2000 out of McGehee after helping the Owls win back-to-back state championships in 1998-1999. He played one season for the Razorbacks before transferring to Arkansas Tech for the 2001 season.

"Northwest Arkansas and the Razorbacks are always dear to my heart," Hood said. "Wherever I'm at, I'm a Razorback. I did graduate from Arkansas Tech, but I'm definitely a Razorback and a Wonder Boy at heart."

He traveled to Fayetteville on Saturday to let junior defensive end Quevan Lawson take a look at the Razorbacks and for the coaches to get to know Lawson.

Lawson, 6-5, 220 pounds, 4.63 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has scholarship offers from Southern Miss, Kent State and Florida A&M while drawing interest from Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.

Hood said colleges like Lawson's burst off the ball, speed and energy level.

"Teams love the way he runs," Hood said. "Off the edge, it's hard to get hands on him. He's pure edge rusher. The schools I've talked to love his motor."

Hood tutored under El Dorado Coach Scott Reed, Fort Smith Southside Coach Jeff Williams and Springdale Coach Zac Clark before becoming the coach at Turner County in the spring of 2017.

He believes Lawson is flying under most colleges' radar and thinks it's a matter of time before he starts reeling in other offers.

"In my 10 years, I definitely say he's at the top as far as a kid that's going to do exactly what you tell him," Hood said. "He's not going to complain. When he's on the field he's 110 percent until the whistle blows. That's something you can't coach."

Lawson recorded 49 tackles, 12 for loss, 8.5 sacks and 12 quarterback hurries for the Rebels, who lost at Schley County in the first round of the playoffs to finish 6-5.

"I think he's going to end up being a great collegiate player and eventually maybe even an NFL player," Hood said.

Because of his speed, Lawson may run track this spring.

"I'm debating on whether to let him run track," Hood said.

Lawson's ability to run caused Hood to move him over with the receivers and running backs during conditioning.

"I had to move him from the D-line, linebacker and tight end group, so when we're conditioning, he's actually running with the skill kids," Hood said.

Hood and Lawson visited Auburn on Thursday before making their way to Hot Springs on Friday so Hood could watch McGehee win the Class 3A boys state basketball championship, 52-49 over Drew Central.

Regardless where the coaching profession takes Hood, his heart will always be with the Natural State.

"Arkansas is home," Hood said. "It was huge signing with them out of McGehee. That was huge for the town of McGehee. Any kid that can play for the Razorbacks that's a dream. As for me and my experience at Arkansas, it was great."

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Sports on 03/11/2018


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