FAYETTEVILLE — DeWitt Class of 2022 tight end Dax Courtney is emerging as one of the top prospects in Arkansas in the junior class.
Courtney, 6-6, 210, was offered on Wednesday by both Kansas and TCU then Baylor followed up with an offer of their own on Thursday. As a sophomore, Courtney caught 36 passes for 623 yards and seven touchdowns while also rushing three times for 16 yards. The head coach of the Dragons is Mark Courtney who is Dax’s father.
“He’s 6-foot-6 and that’s a commodity,” Mark Courtney said. “He’s got ball skills, he has got speed and good work ethic. We are on way right now to Little Rock to workout with Chris Baker for some speed training stuff. But what’s gonna make him so attractive to all these schools is he’s one of the more physical kids I’ve ever coached. You’ve got a tight end, H (Back) that is 6-6 and knows how to use his body from basketball that can run, but will block the [heck] out of you at the same time.”
Coach Courtney talked about the process of sending out video on the younger Courtney and how it has helped his recruiting.
“We sent his video out and it got some attention,” Coach Courtney said. “He wanted to go up to the gym and film some dunks. We filmed about 10. When we sent those dunks out the college football world went crazy.
“They said, ‘You’ve got a 6-6 sophomore that is fixing to be a junior and is windmill dunking.’ That’s how it all took off.”
Coach Courtney also talked about some other schools that appear to be closing in on offering the talented 2022 prospect.
“He’s got the three offers, but Florida State told him they’re gonna offer,” Courtney said. “They just do their stuff in person. Tennessee is not far off, Virginia Tech is not far off and Texas was on him this morning. He’s fixing to blow up over these next few weeks. Rion Rhoades introduced himself in March. Coach (Sam) Pittman talked to me last Friday.”
The younger Courtney talked about already having three offers and if he was surprised they came so early?
“To a certain point I did expect this to happen,” Courtney said. “But at a certain point and not as a sophomore. I wasn’t expecting that.”
Dax also talked about what an offer from the Razorbacks would mean to him.
“Growing up as an Arkansas kid it’s always your dream to play for the Razorbacks,” Courtney said. “As you get older it turns into more of a business decision. Where do I go that puts me in my best situation and Arkansas would be a really good fit. But if they don’t recruit me I can’t go there.”
As with all athletes across the country, Courtney has had to revise his training schedule since to team gatherings are allowed due to the COVID-19.
“I will take you through my day,” Courtney said. “I wake up in the morning and eat breakfast. I go to the gym and do arms. I come back home and eat another breakfast and rest. I eat lunch and then go do arm and arm muscles that don’t get worked on my core list. Then I come back home and eat another lunch. Then I eat a supper, I go back that night and I do a heavy leg session. I come back home and eat another supper, shower and then go to bed. Everyday.”
That is obviously a lot of work, but do you feel like it’s all paying off now as the college offers are pouring in?
“Yes sir, that’s the main thing I said when I got the first offer it wasn’t so much excitement as relief,” Courtney said. “Then you are like, I’m a 17-year-old kid and I have been working the past 14 years to be able to go to college and put myself in a better position to go to The League. Now all of it is starting to come together now you just say to yourself, wow these last 14 years were going toward something at least.”
Did getting the first pressure take some pressure off of you?
“No sir, I mean it took some pressure off my mind a little bit,” Courtney said. “But then five or 10 minutes after it it went from being excited because I got an offer to I’ve got to work harder than anybody else in the country the next two years so I can go into college and do the same thing I’m doing in high school.”
Courtney talked about how he feels his sophomore season with the Dragons went.”
“I think as a sophomore it went really well,” Courtney said. “I’m not gonna say I was the best receiver because I wasn’t. My guy Johnta Wright went for like 1,300 yards receiving and set records at DeWitt. I’ve really got to give a lot of credit to my brother (Quarterback Seth Courtney). My brother is a big reason on why I was doing the stuff I was doing last year. You see a few flashy catches. But if you watch it closely you see my brother threw it in the only place that I could catch it. I was the only one who could catch it. I think my sophomore year went pretty good, but it’s not gonna be able to compare to the next two years on what I’m gonna try to be able to do.”
Courtney talked about what he feels are his strengths on the field and what does well.
“I’m 6-6 that’s a blessing from God,” Courtney said. “Other than I’m really smart. My dad has been coaching since I was born so I’ve been around him. That’s a big factor. Then I work really hard and then you can’t coach physicality and I’ve got it and that was from God as well. He just blessed me with the mindset you can’t be timid. If you want to be as good as you want to be you can’t go into this game timid. You’ve got to go into and give everything you’ve got every play and just play.”
He also talked about the areas he’s working hard to improve in as well.
“I feel like my main areas the next two years I’ve got to work technique as hard as I can,” Courtney said. “I’m working technique as hard as I can. Other than that, I’m gonna be working on speed and putting on good, quality weight. Because if I put on good, quality weight that gets me naturally stronger. I’ve got to get my strength, speed and technique better because I could be the strongest person in the world, but if I don’t have good technique I can’t block anybody.”