Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss recruiting battles with Missouri, a defensive lineman reiterating his commitment and the Hogs in the top five for an outside linebacker target.
Mizzou LB not exactly accurate with shot at Arkansas recruiting
Missouri linebacker Eric Beisel has become known as quite the talker, especially when it come to discussing Arkansas. Wednesday at SEC Media Days gave him the perfect platform to give the Razorbacks more bulletin board material to stew over, and he took full advantage.
Beisel is clearly on board with Missouri coach Barry Odom and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema in trying to ignite the Battle Line Rivalry. The senior from Fenton, Mo., just has a different, and much more brazen, way of going about it.
On Wednesday he went after the Razorbacks from a different angle at one point — recruiting. The topic was the idea of potentially playing an Arkansas-Missouri high school all-star game (which you can click here to read about) that has been supported by Bielema and Odom.
“It just seems like we get all the top Arkansas recruits here,” Beisel said. “So, I don’t know how productive that would be. If (they) want to play powerhouses like Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Parkway Central, guys out of those — you know, Ezekiel Elliott, guys like that. Let’s make it happen.”
Personally, I don’t mind trash talk. I’m even usually a fan of it, especially if the talkers back it up like Mizzou did last season against Arkansas. But those comments from Beisel are as much “fake news” as trash talk.
Let’s get to the facts. Here’s the list of Arkansas natives Missouri has signed in the Bielema era:
(All the ratings are according to the 247Sports composite.)
- QB Taylor Powell, 2017, 3-star, Fayetteville: The No. 6 Natural State prospect in his class, Powell never received an offer from Arkansas. The Hogs signed four of the top five in-state recruits in the class and every in-state recruit they offered.
- DT Akial Byers, 2017, 4-star, Fayetteville: Byers was the one top-5 2017 Arkansas prospect the Razorbacks didn’t sign, but they also never offered him. Once an Alabama commit, he joined Missouri’s class late after it initially looked like he wouldn’t academically qualify.
- RB Damarea Crockett, 2016, 3-star, Little Rock Christian Academy: Most years, Arkansas probably would’ve offered a player like Crockett. But 2016 wasn’t most years as the Hogs signed T.J. Hammonds and Devwah Whaley, both 4-star recruits, and didn’t have room at running back to offer Crockett. He was No. 5 2016 Arkansas recruit. The Hogs signed the top four.
That’s three players, none of which had an opportunity to play at Arkansas on scholarship. They were all ranked within the top six of their class, so there’s that, but what does it matter if Mizzou didn’t even beat out Arkansas to get them?
The real irony here is Arkansas has actually been pretty good at winning recruiting battles against Missouri in the Tigers’ home state under Bielema. The golden year was 2014 when Arkansas signed three Show Me State natives — tackle Brian Wallace, quarterback Rafe Peavey and defensive tackle Armon Watts. Wallace was the top recruit in the state that year with Peavey No. 5 and Watts No. 14. All had offers from the Tigers.
There are a couple of more recent examples. Tackle Shane Clenin from Festus, Mo., signed with the Hogs in 2017. He did not have an offer from the Tigers. Fullback Hayden Johnson signed with Arkansas out of Columbia, Mo., in 2016, though Missouri offered him as a defensive lineman. The positional difference tipped things in Arkansas’ favor.
Getting back to Beisel, why bring up Ezekiel Elliott? Sure, the St. Louis native might’ve played in such an all-star game for Missouri, but he also spurned the Tigers for Ohio State as the No. 1 Missouri prospect in 2013. That just further underscores some of Mizzou’s significant misses with in-state recruits.
Beisel also said Missouri will always be above Arkansas … geographically. So, hey, at least he wasn’t wrong about everything. But he should check his facts before taking recruiting jabs at the Hogs.
DL Emmit Gooden is all with the Razorbacks
Don’t worry, Arkansas fans, 2018 defensive tackle commit Emmit Gooden is fully on board with the Razorbacks.
Rumors have been heavy in recent weeks Gooden may be looking at options elsewhere, specifically Oklahoma. The 3-star recruit from Independence (Kan.) Community College apparently put those to rest Tuesday evening via Twitter. Responding to an Oklahoma fan questioning his commitment, Gooden stated “I’m a Razorback, sir.”
Just four minutes later, Bielema tweeted “Love it #WoooPig” as an obvious response to Gooden’s public statement of loyalty.
Report: OLB DaShaun White has Hogs in top 5
Arkansas is among the top five choices for 2018 outside linebacker DaShaun White, according to a report from 247Sports.
The Razorbacks offered White in late April after he visited campus. He is a 3-star recruit from Richland High School in the Dallas area. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas A&M are also among his top choices.
With a reported 40-yard dash time of 4.75, White would be a good fit at outside linebacker in the Hogs’ 3-4 scheme. He had 130 tackles, 10 tackles for losses, and 3 1/2 sacks for Richland last season.
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