Arkansas mulling QB possibility with 4-star talent Gerry Bohanon
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has stated on several occasions he only intends to sign 1 quarterback in each recruiting class.
In most years, that’s an easy strategy to keep in place. The current in-state group of quarterbacks has made 2018 different than normal.
Three of the top 4 Natural State prospects in the class are quarterbacks, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. The highest rated of those — 4-star Greenwood quarterback Connor Noland — has been committed to Arkansas since last summer. Behind Noland as the state’s No. 2 overall recruit is Earle quarterback Gerry Bohanon, who is a 4-star prospect according to Scout.
Noland’s situation is clear and simple. He’s firmly committed to the Hogs in football and as a right-handed pitcher in baseball. He has put in a lot of effort helping recruit others to join him at Arkansas. The only realistic possibility he won’t end up at Arkansas at this point is if he’s opts to play professional baseball out of high school. He’s told SEC Country in the past it would take “a lot of money” for him to pass up college.
Things are far more ambiguous with Bohanon and the Razorbacks. Initially, Arkansas wasn’t devoted to recruiting him as a quarterback with Noland already committed. He was viewed as an “athlete” likely to fit as an outside linebacker with the Hogs. All of the other programs recruiting him — several of them SEC schools — have been pursuing Bohanon at quarterback, his preferred position.
Rather than potentially miss out on Bohanon altogether, the Hogs have apparently loosened their stance. Bohanon recently told SEC Country the Razorbacks have begun recruiting him “to a certain extent” as a quarterback.
So, the coaching staff is now, for the first time, beginning to talk with Bohanon about playing quarterback, just ahead of his expected visit April 29 for the spring game. Bohanon said that’s increased his interest in the Hogs considerably.
It’s becoming apparent this is going to remain a fluid situation going forward. Does Arkansas want to bring in 2 quarterbacks in what will be a small signing class? Probably not. But do the Hogs want to see one of the top in-state recruits headed to another SEC school? Absolutely not.
One thing that is becoming certain, Arkansas’ chances with Bohanon likely hinge on its willingness to sign him as a quarterback.
Assistants make the rounds to in-state schools
Arkansas’ assistant coaches hit the recruiting road Monday with an in-state focus.
Noland is currently the only 2018 in-state commit, though the Hogs have their eye on many others. The staff is also getting a jump-start on the local 2019 class, which is expected to be exceptionally strong.
Here are the in-state trips confirmed by SEC Country:
Kurt Anderson checks in on Jonesboro pair
Offensive line coach Kurt Anderson visited Jonesboro to check in on a pair of talented offensive linemen.
In the 2018 class, Jonesboro’s Noah Gatlin has a reported 10 offers from FBS schools, with growing interest from the Hogs. Arkansas is looking to sign 3 offensive linemen in the 2018 class, with none committed to this point. Gatlin will likely remain on the radar going forward as a potential offer candidate depending on what happens with others in the class.
Fellow Jonesboro offensive lineman Darius Thomas, a 4-star 2019 recruit, already has an Arkansas offer. Auburn, Georgia and LSU have also offered Thomas.
Dan Enos, Barry Lunney go to Robinson
Offensive coordinator Dan Enos and tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr., the Hogs’ primary in-state recruiter, ventured to Little Rock and checked in with several targets at Joe T. Robinson.
Robinson wide receiver and defensive back Nathan Page is a high-priority target expected to receive an Arkansas offer in the future. He is a 3-star prospect in the 2018 class. He currently has offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Tech.
Hunter Swoboda, a 2018 tight end and outside linebacker, also has the Hogs’ attention. He has offers from Air Force and Army.
In Robinson’s 2019 group, defensive tackle Elliott Harris Jr. is receiving interest from Arkansas and several other FBS programs.
Paul Rhoads sees Har-Ber linebacker
Defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads went to Har-Ber High School in Springdale. The Hogs primary interest at Har-Ber is 2018 linebacker Oliver Nasilai. He has offers from BYU and Oklahoma State.
Rhoads and defensive line coach John Scott Jr. also visited Independence (Kan.) Community College. The trip was to check out Emmit Gooden, a 3-star defensive tackle with several major offers.
Michael Smith hits NWA
Wide receivers coach Michael Smith made trips to a couple of schools in Northwest Arkansas — Bentonville West and Fayetteville.
The Razorbacks are high on Bentonville West 2019 wide receiver Jadon Jackson, who they recently offered while he was visiting campus.
Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook right here.