Bahn: Minnesota Vikings' Wright, Childs Just The Latest Receiver Greats From Warren

by Chris Bahn  on Tuesday, May. 1, 2012 1:45 pm  

Don’t bother looking for a Wal-Mart in the south Arkansas town of Warren. To find one of those you have to drive 20 or so miles east to Monticello.

Same thing with a local movie theater. Warren doesn’t have one of those either.

Know what the South Arkansas town of 6,000 does have? A history of producing great college wide receivers and two of the top 150 picks in the recent NFL Draft.

Former Arkansas Razorbacks and Warren teammates Jarius Wright and Greg Childs were fourth-round picks by the Minnesota Vikings, further establishing Warren’s tradition as a hotbed for wide receiver talent in Arkansas.

Wright and Childs are the most recent and most successful college products from Warren. They’re hardly the only college prospects produced in Bradley County.

Lumberjacks Coach Bo Hembree has sent 26 wide receivers to play college football in 12 seasons. Those numbers include 11 NCAA Division-I signees, including Wright and Childs, a pair of recent draft picks. Don’t forget former Warren teammate Chris Gragg, who redshirted in 2009 and figures to be one of the best tight end prospects in the country for the 2013 draft.

So what’s the secret?

It helps having so little to distract players in town. That means they’re more than willing to put in the time on the field and do all that coaches ask of them, Hembree said.

Coaches are more than willing to put in the work with the players. It helps that the town is fully behind football.

Warren, unlike some colleges in the state, has an indoor practice facility. That means the players can work on football skills every day if they want. It’s accessible just about every day of the week, whenever players want to work on their game.

“Come up here Monday afternoon at 4 p.m and you’ll see a bunch of kids catching a football off a JUGS machine. That's in the 'off-season.' It’s year-round,” Hembree said. “They don’t have a lot more else to do. It’s a good thing for a high school football coach. You want to know where your kids are. And they’re pretty much staying there, working on their game until we close up.”

Training starts early at Warren.

From the seventh grade on, they are taught the same offensive system and run it in games. A premium is put on route running and catching footballs, so a guy like Wright gets to the college level ready to contribute.



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