Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss the new staff recruiting in Louisiana, the offer list for a top in-state target and more.
Arkansas staying connected in Louisiana
Arkansas’ previous staff under Bret Bielema did a good job making inroads recruiting in Louisiana. Led by former wide receivers coach Michael Smith — a New Orleans native — the Razorbacks signed 14 Louisiana players from 2014-17. Many of those players have been successful with the Hogs, with 10 of the 14 having either started or become regular contributors.
The Hogs’ new staff under Chad Morris is doing everything possible to ensure the important pipeline into Louisiana continues. None of the four commits in the 2019 Arkansas class are from The Boot, but the Hogs are in serious consideration for several of the state’s top prospects.
Included on that list are linebacker Donte Starks and safety Ishmael Burdine. Both prospects recently released their top-10 lists, with Arkansas making the cut for both.
Starks (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) is a 4-star recruit and the No. 6 inside linebacker in the Class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite. He attends John Ehret (La.) High School, a school near New Orleans with a powerhouse football program. It’s the same school that produced Arkansas linebacker De’Jon Harris, who is arguably the Hogs’ best defensive player.
As a junior, Starks played at Biloxi (Miss.) High School. He missed the first three games of the 2017 season, but managed 82 tackles and 13 tackles for loss in eight games.
Starks also has Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and others among his top choices. His commitment date is set for early July, and he previously told SEC Country he planned to visit Arkansas prior to that time.
Burdine (6-1, 180) is a 3-star recruit from Slidell (La.) High School, roughly 30 miles north of New Orleans. He had 36 tackles, 4 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles as a junior in 2017. His list of top choices also includes SEC programs Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
In-state target Zach Williams has offers from every Power 5 Conference
Arkansas defensive end target Zach Williams has been one of most popular 2019 recruits in the country over the last few months.
Williams (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) received his offer from Arkansas in February, his first from a Power 5 school. He’s added 13 Power 5 offers. His latest offer came from Louisville earlier this week. With an ACC school now added to his list, Williams has an offer from at least one school in every Power 5 Conference.
The increased volume of prominent offers has made the process tougher for the Joe T. Robinson (Little Rock, Ark.) prospect.
“[A commitment decision is] getting to be very difficult,” Williams recently told SEC Country. “So many new schools are showing interest. Like Notre Dame, Stanford, Auburn and others. I had planned on committing sometime in May, but I am going to push that back until later this summer.”
Williams is near the top of Arkansas’ Class of 2019 priority list. He’s one of eight in-state recruits the Hogs have offered, all of whom are major targets. His father, Rickey, played linebacker for Arkansas (1984-87) and ranks No. 8 on the school’s career tackles list.
Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook right here.