While North Little Rock Charging Wildcats’ players are watching this Saturday’s Arkansas matchup at Alabama, who to root for may be a bit of a conundrum.
Root for their home state team, or their former teammate.
Former running back Altee Tenpenny will get his first look at the Razorbacks on the field in Tuscaloosa this weekend. His former high school coach Brad Bolding said he has no trouble whom to cheer for.
"I’m a Razorback fan, do doubt about it," Bolding said, "but I’m also rooting for Altee."
One of the things that Bolding said he was most proud of in watching his former star running back was his demeanor especially after his first collegiate touchdown.
"He scored and didn’t run and jump into the stands," Bolding said. "He just handed the ball to the official and ran back to the sidelines like he had done it a hundred times."
Tenpenny is very highly thought of as noted by many. Most recently on a local radio talk show, Baron Huber, who is a former Tide player on head coach Nick Saban’s first national title team at Alabama cited Tenpenny’s stock.
"Saban has singled him out on many occasions," Huber said, "and that rarely happens to any player, let alone a freshman."
Saban has slotted Tenpenny as the team’s third running back behind Kenyan Drake and T.J. Yeldon.
Tenpenny committed to the Tide early in his junior season and with the regime in place in Fayetteville at the time, Tenpenny’s pledge was solid—until head coach Bobby Petrino made his infamous motorcycle ride.
Consequently, Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long fired Petrino and after stealth process hired Bret Bielema from Wisconsin, and it almost made a difference.
Bolding said Arkansas’ hiring of Bielema was a huge move in the possibility of landing Arkansas’ best high school player.
How far did Bielema come in the recruiting of Tenpenny? Bolding said, "Light years".
"He wasn’t going to go to a school that wasn’t primarily a running team," Bolding said. "Arkansas under the previous regime wasn’t a running team."
The hire of Bielema changed that instantly and gave Tenpenny some cause to reconsider his choice of where to play college football. While he did reconsider, he did not waiver in his decision.
"He’s Roll Tide all the way," Bolding said.
While his teammates will be calling the Hogs, they will be cheering on their former Charging Wildcat.