Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. This time, we discuss three of Arkansas’ top linebacker targets in the 2018 class.
Arkansas has lacked any semblance of depth at linebacker, perhaps more than any other position on the roster, over the past two seasons.
There’s a major emphasis to change that, and it starts with recruiting. The Razorbacks signed four linebackers in the 2016 class and three in 2017. Though the 2018 class projects to be small overall, the Hogs are looking to bring in multiple linebackers yet again.
Arkansas’ switch to the 3-4 defense has somewhat changed the type of talent the program is seeking at the position group. The Hogs recently hired Chad Walker to coach outside linebackers, an entirely new assistant position on the staff. Outside linebacker, ideally, will be occupied by players capable of filling a plethora of roles from pass rushing to helping in coverage to stopping the run.
The Razorbacks already have 4-star Bumper Pool firmly committed in the 2018 class. The Dallas-area prospect projects to play inside linebacker once he arrives on campus. Most of the primary remaining targets are better suited as an outside linebacker at the college level. Here’s a look at three of those top targets:
Hobbs has family connections to Arkansas, likely helping the Razorbacks chances significantly. His father and grandfather are Natural State natives who grew up cheering on the Razorbacks. His grandfather, who still lives in Arkansas, jokingly said he should drop all the other schools and commit right away once he received the offer earlier this month.
There appears to be some serious mutual interest growing between Arkansas and Hobbs. A 4-star recruit according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, he’s tall and lanky at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds. That’s exactly type of build the Hogs are looking to work with at outside linebacker in the new system. He expects to visit Arkansas soon and will remain a top target for the foreseeable future.
Arkansas was Orji’s first offer last spring and he’s since become one of the Hogs’ most highly-sought recruits in the class. He has since added many prominent schools to his offer list, including LSU, Michigan and Oklahoma.
Orji (6-2, 225) told SEC Country earlier this month he’s remained in close contact with Arkansas’ coaching staff for several months. He visited Fayetteville last November, and plans to schedule another trip very soon.
With above-average pass-rushing ability and the athleticism to play in coverage, Orji appears to be a perfect fit at outside linebacker. He’ll even gain some experience playing that spot in the 3-4 this fall because his high school, like Arkansas, is switching to the scheme.
Adeoye picked up his first offer from Missouri on Jan. 24 and has been one of the most-popular recruits in the class since. He’s now up to 20 total with Arkansas joining that mix earlier this month. His others include Iowa, LSU, Oklahoma and South Carolina.
Adeoye (6-2, 235) projects as an inside linebacker, and the Hogs could use another to go alongside Pool in this class. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema extended the offer to Adeoye himself. He’s obviously emerged as a high priority, but will likely be tough to pull out of the St. Louis area. Missouri is believed to be high on his list and offering first almost always helps. He’s already visited Illinois, another nearby Power 5 Conference school, on multiple occasions.
The Razorbacks will have to receive a visit, and likely throughly impress Adeoye, to have a chance here.
Lang is a raw talent who has flown somewhat under the radar as a recruit to this point. Rivals and Scout rate him a 3-star while the other major recruiting services give him no rating. Still, his offer list is growing with three Power 5 Conference programs extending one and several others interested.
Arkansas became his second offer, after Florida Atlantic, in early December. Hogs coach Bret Bielema made a visit to his high school during the late-January contact period.
Lang (6-5, 220) is listed as a defensive end prospect and played that position last season in a 4-3 defense. However, he’d fit into Arkansas’ plans as an outside linebacker. Like Hobbs, he has ideal size for that spot.
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