Beale, parents impressed by UA coaches’ energy

Humble and grateful would describe Cross County sophomore offensive and defensive lineman Danny Beale III after his visit to the University of Arkansas for the Jan. 27 Junior Day.

"It was a great experience overall, I liked the atmosphere, the coaches and just everything about the campus," Beale said.

Beale, 6-4, 320 pounds, has accumulated scholarship offers from Arkansas, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Temple and others. He's not rated yet by the four major recruiting services but should contend for 4-star status the next two years.

The Hogs hosted more than 50 prospects during his trip to Fayetteville but the coaches made it seem like a small group.

"I liked the way they were with everybody," Beale said. "They didn't show any favoritism. They made everybody feel loved. And they were very energetic."

Beale, who recorded 26 tackles, 4 tackles loss, 3 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries and a forced fumble last season despite teams running away from him, also plays baseball and throws the shot put and discus for his school.

He's being recruited by defensive line coach Deke Adams and offensive line coach Eric Mateos to play either side of the line.

"They were like asking me what I want to play in college," Beale said. "They kept poking around. Like my freshman season I was like a D-lineman and Coach Mateos said I think you would look better in 55 [jersey] on the O-line. He said 'Don't you think?' and I just started laughing because I don't know what I want to play in college."

He is fond of both Arkansas coaches.

"I think they're great men," Beale said. "Coach Deke, outside of football, he just talks to me on a personal level, so I like that in a coach because I don't like it to be all about football and then Coach Mateos is the same way. So I just like both of those coaches."

The photo shoot with prospects wearing the Razorback uniform was a highlight for Beale.

"It felt good because some people don't get this opportunity and some people want to play college ball and with me being 15 [years old], I was able to go on a visit and try on the uniforms," Beale said.

Beale visited Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas State for games last fall.

"For spring ball, I'm planning to visit most of the schools I have offers from and Florida," Beale said.

Beale and his parents had a meeting with Coach Sam Pittman in his office.

"I like Coach Pittman, he's a funny guy," Beale said. "The meeting evolved like personal stuff like what do I look for in a college. Talked to my parents about different things. Talked about everything, anything really."

Beale's father said the trip was a good experience.

"All the coaches had a lot of energy," he said. "Make you feel at home. It was real nice going up there."

His mother, Tomeka Purnell, enjoyed the hospitality they received during their visit.

"I enjoyed the experience, I appreciate them offering him," Purnell said. "I'm just thankful that God has blessed him with the talent he has blessed him with. They wrapped their arms around him. I'm overwhelmed myself. It was just awesome. From the time we came in, the greeting. They greeted us at the door and until the time we left, it was nothing but love."

Should Beale decide to be a Razorback, Purnell would give her approval.

"I would be, if that's what he wants to do, I am behind him 100%," she said.

Email Richard Davenport at

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  photo  Danny Beale III

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