By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — When the clock struck midnight on Monday, June 15, college coaches at NCAA Division 1 schools could reach out directly to class of 2022 prospects for the first time, and the Arkansas Razorbacks’ staff wasted no time in contacting multiple recruits including a handful of in-state prospects with Hog offers.
Nick Smith, Jr., Derrian Ford, Joseph Pinion, Kel’el Ware, and Javion Guy-King are the Arkansas high school sophomores-to-be that heard from Hog coaches early Monday.
Smith (6-4 combo guard, Sylvan Hills, national No. 46 / 4-star prospect according to Rivals.com) said he was contacted by Head Hog Eric Musselman and assistant coach Corey Williams.
“Coach Muss said they were really excited to be recruiting me and was asking me about my family,” said Smith, who also heard from coaches from Kansas, Florida, Ohio State, Kansas State, and Murray State just after midnight. “Pretty much the same thing with coach Corey (Williams).”
Ford (6-3 combo guard, Magnolia, national No. 38 / 4-star prospect according to Rivals.com) said he was contacted first by Williams.
“Coach (Corey) Williams just letting me know that they are excited to be able to call more now and that we probably will talk later on today,” said Ford, who also heard from Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Baylor, Michigan, and Florida after midnight on Monday. The Red Raiders offered Ford a scholarship.
Pinion (6-6 wing, Morrilton, national No. 90 / 4-star prospect according to Rivals.com) said he was was contacted by Musselman.
“Coach Muss DM’ed me and said he hopes me and my family are doing well and he’s excited to recruit me,” said Pinion, who was also contacted by Virginia, Ohio State, Baylor, Illinois, Ole Miss, Murray State, and UCA after midnight on Monday. The Racers offered Pinion a scholarship.
Ware (6-11 forward / center, North Little Rock, national No. 124 / 3-star prospect according to Rivals.com) said he heard from Williams.
“Coach (Corey) Williams … he said that he just wanted to touch bases and he said he will call me later in the week,” said Ware, who also heard from coaches from Virginia Tech, Florida, and Texas Tech after midnight on Monday. The Red Raiders offered Ware a scholarship.
Guy-King (6-5 wing, Little Rock Mills) shared Musselman’s message to him: “Javion, this is Coach Musselman with Arkansas Basketball! I hope you had a great weekend. Our staff is excited to be recruiting you! We love the way you play. Looking forward to speaking with you soon. Go Hogs!”
Guy-King also spoke with Williams.
“Coach Corey (Williams) called just letting me know that they can call and text first now,” Guy-King said.