FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas hopes to secure the majority of its class during the early signing period Dec. 16-18.
The Razorbacks currently have 20 public commitments and a transfer who counts forward to the Class of 2021. That leaves Arkansas with four scholarships though some private commitments will use some of those four. The Razorbacks finished the season 3-7 and now will go to a bowl game. Sam Pittman is searching for playmakers and depth in his second class at Arkansas.
“I think that’s probably the message that you give to every single class, no matter where you’re at,” Pittman said. “Because if you don’t give them hope that they have a possibility to play, you know, then you’re probably not recruiting them as high as they want to be. We certainly need guys to come in here and help us.
Pittman is searching for size in the class.
“We have to get bigger,” Pittman said. “We’ve lost two kids in practice to concussions and things of that nature that have been unfortunate. Bur our depth, from COVID and from injuries and things of that nature. You know guys, y’all don’t have any idea what going through COVID and opt-out are about. I mean none. You basically put your team together on Friday because the tests come back on Thursday. And so there’s a lot that goes into all that stuff.
“So I think we’ll have a deeper team. Hopefully if the vaccine gets out and things and our depth will be better and kids aren’t afraid of the virus. And at that point the virus, opting out would be a thing of the past. I think our depth is probably better than it looks, simply because of the virus and opting out. So but we do need some young kids to come in here and help us. Obviously we feel like we’ve got a good class.”
The Razorbacks currently have two quarterbacks, a pair of running backs, three wide receivers, a tight end and three linemen committed for offense. On defense, they have one lineman, two linebackers and four defensive backs pledged. They also have an athlete who could play on either side of the ball and a kicker committed. The transfer is wide receiver Jaquayln Crawford a wide receiver from Oklahoma.
Arkansas is still hoping to land Atlanta (Ga.) Tri-Cities defensive tackle Cameron Ball, 6-5, 301, and Jones College (Miss.) defensive tackle Jalen Williams, 6-3, 305. The Hogs are also on a few recruits committed elsewhere including one pledged to an SEC school. Ball will enroll at his new school in summer and Williams is midterm.
“There are several different places that obviously we need some help,” Pittman said. “I love the kids we have on the team. We’ve got to get bigger. At about every position we could use some plug and play guys. We’re not a totally go out and get a junior college squad. We’re not a transfer squad. I think you build a program through high school recruiting and that’s what we’re going to do and we’ll plug in a few transfers.”
It will be interesting if one of the transfers is former University of Georgia two-way lineman Netori Johnson, 6-4, 327. He recently entered the transfer portal. Johnson has ties to Arkansas through Pittman who signed him for the Bulldogs as well as Jimmy Smith who was his head coach at Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove. He would probably be an offensive lineman if he inked with the Hogs.
Junior wide receiver Mike Woods is one of the players who fully supports the new Arkansas staff and is recruiting for them.
“I’ve already talked to a couple of recruits, myself,” Woods said. “I just DM them and tell them this is just a foundation. This is just a foundation year. We ain’t going down from here. It’s only up. You better come ready to work. I tell every single one of them, you better come ready to work because we’re not playing games next year. We’ve got to get some wins, that’s what it is.”
Woods played on back-to-back 2-10 teams and is excited about the future including a bowl game for this team.
“As far as a bowl game, of course we’re excited for a bowl game,” Woods said. “Not too many guys in that locker room have gone to a bowl game, so we’re just excited for the next step. We’ve just got to go back to work and get ready for that game. We’ve got to get a win.”
The Razorbacks showed vast improvement this season, but Saturday’s 52-3 loss to Alabama also showed them they have some work to do according to redshirt freshman safety Jalen Catalon.
“I think we needed that game,” Catalon said. “Like coach said, I think we needed to see where we stack up, so far. What areas we did good. What areas we have to work on going into next year. So, we’re going to look back at the film. See what we did good. See what we did bad. We’re going to learn from it and move on. After the bowl game, we’ll get ready for the offseason and all that. I think this game kind of showed us where we really stand when we go up against the best, No. 1. It was a great experience, and I was happy I was able to play the No. 1 team. Just ready to get back to work.”
Arkansas’ Commitments Enrolling Midterm
Lucas Coley, QB, 6-2, 205, San Antonio (Texas) Cornerstone Christian
Javion Hunt, RB, 6-0, 205, Oklahoma City (Okla.) Carl Albert
Ketron Jackson, WR, 6-2, 185, Royse City (Texas)
Jaedon Wilson, WR, 6-3, 172, DeSoto (Texas)
Christopher Paul, LB, 6-1, 235, Cordele (Ga.) Crisp County
Marco Avant, LB, 6-3, 212, Jonesboro
Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan, S, 6-1, 195, Kansas City (Mo.) Lincoln College Prep
Jayden Johnson, S, 6-2, 193, Cedartown (Ga.)
Raheim Sanders, ATH, 6-2, 210, Rockdale (Fla.)
Cameron Little, K, 6-2, 170, Moore (Okla.) Southmoore
Transfer Already Enrolled
Jaquayln Crawford, WR, 5-10, 172, OU Transfer
Commitments Enrolling in Summer
Landon Rogers, QB, 6-5, 215, Little Rock Parkview
AJ Green, RB, 5-11, 190, Tulsa (Okla.) Union
Bryce Stephens, WR, 6-0, 165, Oklahoma City (Okla.) John Marshall
Erin Outley, TE, 6-4, 248, Little Rock Parkview
Terry Wells, OL, 6-5, 306, Wynne
Cole Carson, OL, 6-6, 290, Bogata (Texas) Rivercrest
Devon Manuel, OL, 6-8, 300, Arnaudville (La.) Beau Chene
Solomon Wright, DL, 6-1, 275, Vian (Okla.)
Keuan Parker, CB, 6-0, 173, Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington
Chase Lowery, CB, 6-0, 180, Frisco (Texas)
Patrick Foley, P, 6-3, 195, Omaha (Neb.) Creighton Prep (Will enroll in Summer)