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story.lead_photo.caption Earle quarterback Gerry Bohanon scrambles as England defender Simeon Brooks pursues him during a playoff game Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, in England. - Photo by Matt Johnson

It’s been a long time, if ever, that there’s been the kind of excitement that senior quarterback Gerry Bohanon is bringing to the small town of Earle this season.

Coaches from Arkansas, LSU, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Baylor and Louisville have flooded into town to see Bohanon. The senior quarterback has led his team to a 7-1 record that has the Bulldogs on top of the 2A-3 Conference standings at 5-0.

“I think the overall experience has been really good for him,” Earle coach Albert Coleman said. “It’s just being from a smaller town, it is something that we have never experienced in Earle. He is doing a good job with it and the people in our community are just enjoying the ride and all the attention he is bringing us.”

Bohanon, who is set to take his official visit to Arkansas Nov. 3-5, is 69 of 106 passing for 1,745 yards and 17 touchdowns, along with 45 carries for 835 yards and 13 more scores rushing.

The numbers are even more impressive considering he was injured early in the season and rarely plays a full game.

“He started off with a minor injury,” Coleman said. “We sat him out the second game.

“He’s been playing about a half all season because the games have been lopsided. So pretty much at halftime or the first series of the third quarter, he is done for the night. He could have really big numbers if he wasn’t just playing half the time.”

Bohanon has not let his success and notoriety go to his head, according to Coleman.

“This is one kid that is so humble, it is amazing,” Coleman said. “His head could be swolled up and blown up, but he is steady thinking about his team and how he can help his teammates get offers like he has.

“He has been talking to teams that are recruiting him and trying to get one of our receivers and one of our running backs on the radar.”

Arkansas remains in contention for Bohanon, who many teams were recruiting as a linebacker at first before offering him as a quarterback.

Bohanon and Coleman have stayed in contact with Arkansas’ chief in-state recruiter, Barry Lunney Jr., and Razorback head coach Bret Bielema.

“Coach Lunney and Coach Bielema have done a great job with him and Arkansas remains high on his list,” Coleman said. “He is an in-state kid and he loves his home state, and that is why he wants to get up there soon for his official to Arkansas.

“They have been high on his list since Coach Lunney came to see him during a basketball practice about two years ago. It has just been a good relationship between them and I am looking forward to seeing how that visit ends up for him.”

Bohanon took a visit to Louisville earlier this season while taking unofficial visits to Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Georgia and LSU.

“He has not scheduled any other official visits yet other than the one he took to Louisville and the one he has set up for Arkansas,” Coleman said. “He did trim his list down to those six schools; some of those schools still are on his list. I suspect he will sit down with his parents soon and move forward.”

Bohanon cut his list to Arkansas, Baylor, Louisville, Georgia, Ole Miss and Mississippi State on May 20, but decided in October to not limit it to those half-dozen schools.

“He is feeling his way through the process,” Coleman said. “At this point, most teams have the quarterback they want, but he is still feeling them out.”

Earle, which had a bye on Friday night, has won seven straight games since a season-opening 21-14 loss to West Helena Central.

The Bulldogs have a Thursday night date next week with visiting East Poinsett County that will finish off the regular season.

“We are sitting on top of the conference standings and right now, we are looking at the one seed,” Coleman said.

Dudley Dawson is the recruiting editor for Hawgs Illustrated magazine.


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