SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Like many youngsters born and raised in Arkansas, Isaiah Nichols grew up rooting for the Razorbacks.
Nichols was born in Warren, moved to Little Rock and then to Springdale where he became a highly recruited 2018 defensive line prospect. Attending Springdale High School — less than 15 miles north of the Arkansas campus — Nichols envisioned himself as the next Chris Smith or Trey Flowers.
“I grew up a Razorbacks fan,” Nichols told SEC Country on Monday. “It’s always been my dream to play for the Razorbacks.
“Growing up, those are the guys you looked up to. All the people that came through there and went to the NFL was who I wanted to be like.”
To this point, Arkansas hasn’t offered. He’ll be signing to play major college football regardless, with Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Missouri and several other FBS programs among his current offers.
He visited Alabama for the Crimson Tide’s junior day, was at Missouri with a another trip likely this summer and attended Razorbacks home games last season as a guest.
“With the position I’m in right now, I’m just trying to find the place that’s best for me,” Nichols said. “As of right now, the Razorbacks haven’t given me an offer. So, I’m just thankful for the ones I have now and thankful for everyone that has given me a look.”
An offer from Arkansas might be on the horizon. Nichols plans to attend the program’s “Trench Hogs” offensive and defensive line camp on June 18. The camp will give the coaching staff a chance to take a close look at him and could result in an offer immediately or later in the process.
“When I talked to [Arkansas coaches], they said I’m close to getting an offer,” Nichols said. “But they take a little longer for some of the in-state guys. They want to make sure they want to have them there, so I understand.”
Nichols speaks highly of tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr., the Hogs’ primary in-state recruiter. New defensive line coach John Scott Jr. also made a positive impression. Nichols said Scott “seems like he’s always wanting to improve something,” which he can relate to. He’s also high on coach Bret Bielema, who he had a chance to meet on his most-recent trip to the campus in early April.
“The chance to become a Razorback would be a dream come true,” Nichols said.