Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. This time, we discuss recruiting in Louisiana, a weekend visitor, a new offer and more.
Smith looking forward to recruiting back in Louisiana
Arkansas wide receivers coach Michael Smith exudes confidence as a recruiter, particularly in his home state of Louisiana.
His efforts as the primary recruiter in “The Boot” have helped the Razorbacks sign a combined 11 players out of Louisiana high schools in the past four recruiting classes. All of those players are still with the program, sans two 2017 signees expected to enroll this summer. Several have even become starters or key contributors.
Smith, a New Orleans native, believes he’ll continue to find success recruiting the state. He’s also confident the Hogs are finding championship-caliber talent just south of the state line.
“It’s Louisiana, man,” Smith told reporters Thursday. “I’m going to go down there; I’m going to find somebody that’s going to help us win a championship.”
Arkansas currently does not have a commit from Louisiana among their four members in the 2018 class. They have offered 14 such prospects, with many others on the radar.
“It’s been going well,” Smith said. “We’ve had some great responses. We’re getting offers out to some kids down in that area. I’m looking forward to getting on the road and seeing these guys in person, when we get to do the evaluations and stuff like that.”
It’s unlikely more than a few Louisiana prospects are part of the upcoming class. The number of signees will be small, so the Hogs project to have room for only another 10-15 commits in the group. But that won’t damper Smith’s enthusiasm on the recruiting trail.
“If (coach Bret Bielema) allows me to bring in the whole class, I’m going to try to go get the whole class,” Smith said.
“I’m not saying that’s a knock to anybody on the staff, but that’s how I try to attack my recruiting. I want to sign as many good players as we can get here. The ultimate goal is to sign players that are going to help us win an SEC championship and do things the way we do them, do things right.”
In-state target LaDarrius Bishop to visit
Ashdown (Ark.) 2018 cornerback LaDarrius Bishop is expected to be among the Razorbacks’ visitors on Saturday. Arkansas will hold a scrimmage that day as its sixth practice of the spring. Several recruits will attend.
Bishop (6-foot, 205 pounds) is a 3-star prospect according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. He has long been a mutual interest target for the Hogs. He is very close friends with 2017 safety signee Montaric Brown, also from Ashdown. Bishop often tagged along with Brown on his visits to Fayetteville over the past year.
It’s safe to say it would be a major surprise to see Bishop end up anywhere other than Arkansas. However, the push to secure his commitment may very well be coming this weekend.
The Hogs already have a cornerback — 4-star prospect Byron Hanspard II — committed in the class. After signing four players at the position in the 2017 class, and considering the previously mentioned small overall numbers for 2018, it’s unlikely the Hogs sign more than three cornerbacks. If Bishop wants to join the Razorbacks, he’ll need to do so before those spots fill.
Arkansas offers 4-star RB Tavion Thomas
Arkansas extended an offer to Dunbar (Dayton, Ohio) 2018 running back Tavion Thomas on Thursday.
Thomas (6-2, 225) is a 4-star recruit and the No. 13 running back in the class. He is the eighth running back in the class to report an offer from the Razorbacks. His offer list is extensive with Alabama, LSU, Michigan and Ohio State among the 28 schools. He rushed for 1,606 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior last season.
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