Arkansas targets won’t have a heavy presence at The Opening, a four-day showcase of the nation’s top prospects, in Beaverton, Ore., that starts later this week.
But the players who will be in attendance are among the most important players Arkansas is pursuing in the Class of 2017.
Here’s a breakdown of three major Arkansas targets attending the event:
Jaylen Kelly-Powell, 4-star safety
School: Cass Technical (Detroit, Mich.)
Measurables: 6-foot, 175 pounds
National rank: No. 261 player in the nation, No. 21 safety, No. 6 overall prospect in Michigan
Skinny: Currently one of Arkansas’ primary targets in the 2017 class, Kelly-Powell spent three days in Fayetteville earlier this summer during Arkansas’ high school camp. He cited his connection with offensive coordinator Dan Enos as the primary reason for the visit. The Razorbacks are viewed as a longshots to land Kelly-Powell, but he described Arkansas as “great” during his visit and plans to return in October to attend a game. Midwest powers Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State are all interested in securing Kelly-Powell’s services.
Ambry Thomas, 4-star cornerback
School: Detroit (Mich.) Martin Luther King
Measurables: 5-foot-11, 174 pounds
National rank: No. 140 player in the nation, No. 16 cornerback, No. 2 overall prospect in Michigan
Skinny: Another Detroit prospect, Thomas could be a package deal with his cousin Kelly-Powell, who told SEC Country the two are trying to attend the same college. Thomas was with Kelly-Powell at Arkansas’ high school camp in mid-June and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds in front of several coaches. Arkansas didn’t make the cut when Thomas released a list of his top 13 schools in March, but that was before he spent three days in Fayetteville. Thomas told SEC Country the Razorbacks have given him the choice to commit as either a wide receiver or cornerback.
Chase Hayden, 3-star running back
School: St. George’s Independent School (Collierville, Tenn.)
Measurables: 5-foot-10, 185 pounds
National rank: No. 430 player in the country, No. 31 running back, No. 12 overall prospect in Tennessee
Skinny: Hayden visited Arkansas in late June just before the current dead period after also attending the spring game in April. The Razorbacks are now among his final choices after Hayden told Richard Davenport he’s now looking at only Arkansas, Michigan and South Carolina. The son of former Tennessee and NFL running back Aaron Hayden, Chase rushed for 2,625 yards and 37 touchdowns last season.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.