By Otis Kirk
On paper, Arkansas is closing in on what appears to be one of the best recruiting classes in recent memory.
Obviously how the players perform when they all get on campus will determine the true worth of this class, but by all accounts it is an outstanding group. Chad Morris and his staff have done a relentless job recruiting.
They currently have 29 recruits in the Class of 2019 which is the number they are allowed to sign, but it’s not that simple. Arkansas is still seeking some help at linebacker.
The Razorbacks signed Richmond (Texas) Fort Bend Travis linebacker Zach Zimos on Dec. 19. He is currently the only linebacker in the Class of 2019, but the Hogs plan to add at least one more at that position.
Dyersburg (Tenn.) High School’s Chris Russell is slated to officially visit the Hogs this weekend. Arkansas was the first SEC school to offer Russell, but since then several others have jumped into the mix. The school that poses the biggest threat to the Hogs is likely Tennessee. Russell will visit Tennessee the following weekend. At this point, it’s generally believed that Russell be a Vol. The Hogs will show him a lot of love this weekend in an attempt to get him in the fold.
A key linebacker target for Arkansas is Dodge City (Kan.) Community College’s Lakia Henry. He was once committed to Tennessee, but backed off that pledge. He officially visited Arkansas the weekend of the LSU game. He has Texas, Ole Miss and Florida State on his list along with the Hogs. Henry is a big-time prospect and would be a key candidate to take the departed Dre Greenlaw’s spot in Arkansas’ lineup.
Former LSU player Sci Martin is at East Mississippi Community College and visited Arkansas officially the Dec. 7 weekend. Some things would still have to likely happen for Arkansas to sign Martin, but at this point he probably can’t completely be ruled out.
Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove defensive end Dante Walker visited Arkansas officially the weekend they faced Alabama. He committed at that time. He didn’t sign during the early signing period, but when contacted on Monday morning he said he’s still solid to Arkansas.
Others who are committed but didn’t sign early are Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman cornerback Adonis Otey, Phenix City (Ala.) Central running back A’Montae Spivey, Pulaski Academy tight end Hudson Henry, Warren wide receiver Treylon Burks, Mansfield (Texas) Legacy safety Jalen Catalon and Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson safety Myles Brooks.
The only one who hasn’t officially visited Arkansas is Brooks. Unless he is added to this list this upcoming weekend or the following one then an official visit won’t happen before the Feb. 6 signing day.
Henry and Burks were at Arkansas this past weekend and are solid. Catalon just committed this past Friday and he too is solid.
Otey has a visit to USC the Feb. 1 weekend while Spivey is slated to be at Ole Miss this upcoming weekend. Arkansas is hoping to hold onto both Otey and Spivey. The Hogs have made Spivey the only running back in this class and would have to scramble to replace him if he opted for elsewhere.
Most of the hay is in the barn as far as Arkansas is concerned in the Class of 2019, but there’s still enough suspense left to suggest hang on….anything can happen.
A couple of other reminders about recruiting. Greenwood defensive end Morgan Hanna will take a visit to Arkansas today. He will visit TCU and Alabama later on. Hanna is a possible preferred walk-on recruit. TCU, Alabama and others have extended a PWO to him. Arkansas could do so today.
This was a tweet over the weekend and worth being included in this could. It shows the extent that Morris goes to make sure recruiting is what it needs to be at Arkansas.
People thinking @coachchadmorris recruiting stuff is lip service: instead of cancelling recruiting social after dinner at his house, he personally went to Home Depot earlier today & salted not only his driveway but his ENTIRE neighborhood & roads to it to get parents here. #WPS— Sean Tuohy Jr. (@SJTuohy) January 20, 2019
Arkansas had snow Friday night into Saturday and it made many of the local roads pretty slick.