NORTH LITTLE ROCK FOOTBALL Cats shine in college football world

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<p>North Little Rock running back Altee Tenpenny gets a handoff in practice for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.</p>
<p>North Little Rock running back Altee Tenpenny checks out his Adidas shoes before the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.</p>

It has been a big month for North Little Rock football. One player performed on a national stage, one made a life decision and the head coach was honored once again.

Altee Tenpenny spent his winter break competing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the last stop before signing day next month.

While there, he and his parents reportedly spoke with Arkansas running backs coach Joel Thomas and has scheduled an official visit in Fayetteville for Jan. 18. He will officially visit Tuscaloosa this weekend.

If you look at the Arkansas Razorbacks’ roster for next year, you notice that it is anemic at the running back position. Even when it was populated in 2012, the position was a disappointment, not that nearly every area of the Hogs wasn’t disappointing.

Couple that with the fact that new head coach Brett Bielema loves to run the football and it isn’t hard to figure that Arkansas needs somebody to carry the football.

And what better place to look for ball carriers than North Little Rock? Alabama’s Nick Saban has been no stranger to North Little Rock in the last couple of years being hot on the trail of the state’s top running back Altee Tenpenny.

The Hogs got a commitmentfrom junior tailback Juan Day, who rushed for more than 900 yards this season despite not being completely healthy all season and being Tenpenny’s backup.

Charging Wildcats’ head coach Brad Bolding has said since day one that Day is just as SEC qualified as Tenpenny.

“He’s got SEC talent,” Bolding said in a preseason interview last summer.

The only downside to Day’s pledge is that it is not news that will bring instant gratification to Hog fans. Day still has another year of high school. Another year to get stronger, faster, and build his body for the rigors of the SEC.

Where Day could make an immediate impact for the Hogs is in the hallways of North Little Rock. Day could be the one to coax his teammate to head to the Hill and pave the way for him.

KATV has also honored Bolding as their 7A Coach of the Year.

Bolding is not only proving himself to be a program builder, but he is developing football players for the college game.

Day was the third player to find himself at an SEC school. Martrell Spaight who has been playing for Coffeyville Community College in Kansas committed to play for the Hogs. Tenpenny is still a Razorback target.

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