It has been a whirlwind at North Little Rock’s football facility these days. The center of that whirlwind has been college football recruiting.
There’s no secret that Charging Wildcats’ head coach Brad Bolding has the state’s top running back in Altee Tenpenny, and it has also been widely known for quite some time that Bolding’s prize back is headed to Alabama.
And why wouldn’t he be?
The Crimson Tide are headed to the BCS Championship game…again. They are and have been a national powerhouse and have been pursuing Tenpenny relentlessly.
But the landscape has changed a bit. The Arkansas Razorbacks are presumably in the mix for Tenpenny again.
Because of the hire of Bret Bielema from Wisconsin. The Bobby Petrino regime was a wide-open passing offense, and Tenpenny didn’t want to be lost in the shuffle. He wants to run the football.
“It wasn’t going to happen,” Bolding said of Tenpenny going to Arkansas before Bielema’s hire.
Bolding said he has had a chance to visit with Arkansas’ new coach.
“He’s very down to earth,” Bolding said, “very approachable.”
Bolding is stopping short of predicting whether or not Tenpenny will switch or follow through with his college pledge.
Bolding not only has a good impression of Bielema, but he has built a relationship with Alabama coach Nick Saban and his staff.
“They’ve spent a lot of time and resources recruiting Altee,” Bolding said.
Tenpenny will get instant playing time wherever he goes. At Arkansas, with the exit of Knile Davis, the front of the line is open.
There is also strong speculation that Tide running back Eddie Lacy to go pro as well. Bolding doesn’t expect Tenpenny to redshirt in either place.
With all things appearing to be somewhat even now, the question is what will tip the scales in either direction?
Will Tenpenny stand by his commitment to a team that could win their fourth national championship in four years?
Or will the pull of his home state lead him to Fayetteville to be the cornerstone of a rebuilding program.
Tenpenny will no doubt wear a red helmet next season. Will it have a Hog on it or his number?
We’ll know on the first Wednesday in February.