SPRINGDALE — Bentonville is among the schools participating in the Southwest Elite 7 on 7 and Class of 2023 running back Josh Ficklin is definitely a talent to watch.
Ficklin, 5-10, 195, moved to Bentonville last year from Mississippi. He is emerging as someone likely to be highly recruited. He talked about the 7 on 7 experience.
“Honestly it doesn’t really help the running backs,” Ficklin said. “But we’re out here getting more work in passing routes.”
Ficklin talked about the overall experience of 7 on 7 for the entire team.
“I think it does help the team,” Ficklin said. “Brings us together more. It helps the quarterbacks and receivers get timing right. I think it helps as a team. Then when we face adversity in the season we can be ready for all that.”
Among the camps he has attended this summer is one at Arkansas where he worked with Jimmy Smith. Ficklin ran a laser-timed 4.5 in the 40-yard dash there.
“I think I was the best running back at the camp honestly,” Ficklin said. “I felt real confident going through the drills. I talked to Coach (Sam) Pittman and Coach Smith. They really liked me so I think I did real good there.”
Several schools are showing interest in Ficklin and will start handing out offers soon if he takes care of some work in the classroom.
“They want me to get all my school right, academics, first,” Ficklin said. “I’m getting a lot of interest where I feel comfortable. I will have offers soon. I am on the radar.”
As far as strengths at running back, Ficklin feels like he has some things the colleges love in a running back.
“I run really hard,” Ficklin said. “I’ve got really good vision and I don’t go down on first contact. I’m trying to put some muscle on.”
Though he has turned in some good times in the 40, that is a focus of Ficklin between now and the season starting this fall.
“The rest of the summer I’m just trying to get faster,” Ficklin said. “Speed kills and colleges are looking for speed. So I’m just trying to get my wheels going.”
Ficklin has been busy camping with schools and showing them what he has to offer. In addition to Arkansas, Ficklin has been to Louisville, Oklahoma, Florida State and Memphis. He talked about how the camps helps.
“They really show me I’m not the only good running back in the area and whole nation,” Ficklin said. “Really humbles you and shows you have got to keep working hard.”
Ficklin was very complimentary of what he learned at two of the camps including working with Smith at Arkansas.
“The coaches really interacted at Memphis and Arkansas,” Ficklin said. “I learned some things.”
Ficklin and his teammates beat Alma 41-12 and Shiloh Christian Gold 32-12. The games will continue into the night and then again on Thursday.