FAYETTEVILLE - One of the best athletes in Bud Walton Arena for Thursday's Holiday Hoops Tournament has a future in football.
Booker T. Washington's (Tulsa) Robert Meachem (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) remains undecided on his college plans, but he has an impressive list of college suitors that reads like a who's who of football's predominant programs. Alabama, Florida, LSU, Miami, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas Tech and UCLA are the schools showing interest.
"I haven't set up any (official) visits yet," Meachem said. "I'm never home, so I'm never able to talk to many of the coaches when they call."
Meachem helped Washington to its 36th consecutive victory with a 59-55 win against Little Rock Parkview. He finished with six points, four rebounds and dished out a pair of assists.
Rivals.com rates Meachem the No. 4 wide receiver in the country and the No. 1 football prospect in Oklahoma. His vertical leap has been measured at 48 inches and he also recorded a 4.28 second, 40-yard dash in July during a Nike Camp at Texas A&M.
"I don't have any favorites right now," Meachem said. "I plan to sign in February, but it's still not too late for any new schools to come in because, like I said, I haven't even began setting up any visits."
Another Washington hoopster being recruited for football is Eddie Montoya (6-3, 300. 5.1), who doubles at offensive tackle on the football team. He's been offered scholarships by Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Rice, SMU and Tulsa.
Like Meachem, Montoya hasn't set up any visits and he doesn't have a leader at this time.
MEMPHIS EAST JUNIORS IMPRESSIVE
The most impressive junior hoops prospects at the tournament were Memphis (Tenn.) East's Jerrell Houston (6-8) and Keron Jackson (6-9).
Both are receiving interest from Arkansas and attended the Hogs' Midnight Madness on unofficial visits earlier this fall.
Houston seems to be receiving the most attention as Alabama, Memphis, Mississippi State, Washington, Minnesota, Illinois, UCLA, LSU, Tennessee, Florida State, South Florida, Oklahoma and Missouri have been sending mail.
"I like Arkansas, Tennessee and UCLA the most right now," Houston said. "I'm really just looking for schools in the south somewhere because I hate cold weather."
Houston led East to a 58-42 victory against Rogers on 9 of 10 shooting. He also grabbed seven rebounds, blocked five shots and had two steals. Jackson didn't score, but he had three rebounds while playing just 15 minutes off the bench.
MORE FUTURE FOOTBALLERS?
Little Rock Parkview junior duo Mark Winston (6-7) and Jamaal Anderson (6-6) led a frantic comeback in the final five minutes against Washington, which fell short thanks to a turnover in the closing seconds.
After trailing by as many as 14 in the second half, back-to-back steals and a blocked shot by Anderson coupled with five points from Winston pulled Parkview to 55-54 with just more than a minute to play.
Winston scored five of his eight points in the final five minutes, and Anderson finished with two points.
While talented on the court, most believe Winston and Anderson have a future in football. Winston is one of the top tight ends in the state, and Anderson has turned plenty of heads at receiver. Arkansas, Kansas, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are the main schools showing early interest in the duo.