Bartley Webb and his Springdale teammates are ranked No. 10 in USA Today’s national high school rankings. They’ve earned that ranking by beating powerhouse programs such as Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.) and Jenks (Okla.).
“I’ve been playing very good,” Webb said about his personal performance. “Obviously I can always get better at things, in fact there’s nothing in my game that’s perfect by any stretch of the imagination. So far I’ve allowed zero sacks allowed, and against our non-conference schedule, everyone I line up against is good.”
While Webb is pleased with the dominating performance that he and his teammates are turning in every week, he is also impressed with his future teammates.
“I watch them every week if I can,” he said of the Irish. “If it comes in on the TV, I’m definitely watching it. I watched the Michigan and Michigan State games from the kick-off to the final buzzer.
“You can definitely tell that they are buying into the new system. I didn’t really keep up with Notre Dame last year when Willingham was there, but you can just tell from what I did watch from last year, they are playing more as a team, they’re holding each other accountable for what’s going on.
“It (their play) proves they’re for real,” he continued. “That being said it’s amazing how it took less than a year for him (coach Weis) to establish the type of offense that’s he’s running and then giving everyone a little confidence. If you can do that in a short amount of time, then think in four or five years what he’ll be able to establish. That’s what I’m most excited about.”
Bartley has taken the time to tape the games, but he isn’t always eager to watch the replay.
“I did on the Michigan game, but not the Michigan State game,” he commented about watching the tape. “I really didn’t want to replay that one – that was a heart breaker. The comeback was unbelievable. Being down 21 (points) at the start of the fourth quarter and then coming back and forcing it to overtime was unbelievable.
“At the very end that was the most, I want to say sickening feeling you get whenever you see them go into the end zone. Although whenever they planted the flag in the middle of the field -- I don’t know what upset me more, that they lost or the fact that they did that. I was pretty upset. Unfortunately the game didn’t turn out the way we were all hoping.”
While the Michigan State game wasn’t replayed in the Webb household, Bartley does make an effort to watch and study certain parts of the football game. He has been impressed with several of his future teammates.
“Offensive line wise, I like John Sullivan,” he said “I’ve had a chance to meet him on a couple recruiting visits. I’ve gotten a chance to get to know him a little bit. I watch the entire offensive line to see technique, but because of the relationship I’ve been able to start with Sullivan, I play close attention to him.
“Offensively overall, Darius Walker is amazing, his vision up-field is amazing, being able to set up blocks and see blocks, seeing the hole, or seeing where to cut back is unbelievable.
“Brady Quinn, in my mind is a great leader on the field. He takes charge of the offense. When he’s in there’s no question who is in charge and who’s running the show.”
Next year when Webb reports to Notre Dame, there will be less than 10 returning scholarship offensive linemen. While there will be plenty of opportunities for him to compete with his classmates for early playing time does he believe he’ll be ready to contribute his first season?
“I’d like to think I would be,” he replied. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication, but I know it goes back to whatever the team needs. If they need me to step in a play I’m going to do anything and everything to get myself ready for that.”