May 7, 2009

Arndt putting Cuero on the map

Take a peek at a map of Texas, and look for Cuero. Can't find it? That's OK, because recruiters have the same problem.

Cuero, with a population over 6,000 as of 2007, is located in the Bermuda Triangle of east Texas towns, formed by Houston to the east, San Antonio to the west and Corpus Christi down south. The Gulf of Mexico marks one side of the triangle and Interstate 10 (Houston to San Antonio) and Interstate 37 (San Antonio to Corpus Christi) form the other demarcation lines. The nearest major airport is in San Antonio, nearly two hours away.

In this small Texas town, there's a hidden gem. Colleges often overlook Cuero, blinded by the talent and stars in San Antonio and Houston. But this year, there's a big-time player for Cuero.

His name is Tyler Arndt. The only thing that stands out more than the 6-4 quarterback's size is his surfer boy, shaggy blonde hair. But that's only off the field. On the field, with a helmet covering his mop, it's his game that stands out.

Over the last two years, Arndt has completed over 65% of his passes for 48 touchdowns against only eight interceptions. He's thrown for nearly 5,000 yards in the Gobblers' dynamic offense.

Oh, and he's been an all-state punter, as well.

"He runs nearly a 4.5-40," Cuero coach Mark Reeve said. "But his best asset is that he has a lot of poise."

Arndt currently has offers from TCU, Missouri and, most recently, Vanderbilt. It's been a slow process for the star signal caller so far, but Reeve attributes it to the location and Arndt's work ethic.

"The thing that hurts him a little is also the thing that makes him such a good player," Reeve explained. "He's so focused on what he's doing, whether it's playing football or baseball or working out in the offseason. Those are the things that he concentrates on. He's not a guy that's going to call a lot of coaches on the phone and try to get his name out there that way."

Reeve understands how playing ball in a small Texas town can affect recruiting better than anyway. For 12 years, Reeve coached in Plano at a 5-A school. For the last six, he's been at Cuero, a 3-A school.

"Just about everyone that's come through here - and it's about 120 miles from the nearest airpot, so you have to want to be here to get here - have loved him," Reeve said. "It's not one of those deals like when I was at Plano, where it was 20 miles from the nearest airport and you'd have twenty coaches sitting in your office for every workout.

"You've got to drive a little bit to get here," the coach let out through a laugh.

Cuero, however, is starting to get on the map for more college teams. Reeve said he believes Arkansas, UTEP, Tennessee and Southern Miss could offer soon, and Stanford coaches are coming to visit next week.

"I know a lot of people have seen his film and liked him, but will like him even more when they see him up close and personal," Reeve said.

Moving down to Cuero from the bigger Plano was an eye opener, Reeve said.

"If everything was even, I (as a college recruiter) would always take a 3A player over a 5A player because they have such great upside," Reeve explained. "Because they play both sides of the ball."

Reeve said Arndt, who also plays free safety, proves his point best.

"He has tremendous upside," the Gobblers' coach explained. "And he's only going to get even better when he gets to college and specializes on one thing, and plays one side of the ball."



 

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