Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss two upcoming official visitors and a second trip to a prominent junior college program in as many weeks.
JUCO OL Christian Lofton sets Arkansas official visit date
Arkansas will host junior college offensive lineman Christian Lofton for an official visit May 4-6. He attends College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., along with 2018 defensive end signee Dorian Gerald. Though Lofton is listed as a 2018 recruit by 247Sports, the Razorbacks are pursuing him as a potential mid-year addition next winter as part of the 2019 class.
Lofton (6-foot-4, 335 pounds) played guard at College of the Canyons last season and projects to stay there if he gets an opportunity beyond junior college. He does not currently have an offer from Arkansas nor has he reported one from other FBS programs.
A graduate of Pasadena (Calif.) High School, Lofton pursued junior college after failing to qualify academically. He initially played defensive tackle at West Los Angeles College following high school. He’s found a better-suited spot for his skill set playing guard.
Lofton is one of several offensive linemen the Hogs are pursuing to help improve a positional group in need of an overhaul. The Razorbacks currently have two 2019 offensive line committed — high school prospects Beaux Limmer and Joseph Stone. With three scholarship offensive linemen coming off the roster after the 2018 season, they are expected to sign at least five offensive linemen in the 2019 class.
Arkansas coaches head back to Arizona Western
Arkansas had a member of its coaching staff in Yuma, Ariz., for the second time in as many weeks Tuesday. The Hogs were back at Arizona Western College to check in on a pair of top 2019 targets — cornerback Elijah Blades and offensive lineman Desmond Bland.
Blades (6-2, 170) is the No. 1 cornerback and No. 3 overall junior college player in the 2019 class. His offer list includes Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas and others. He signed with Nebraska coming out of John Muir High School (Pasadena, Calif.) as part of the Cornhuskers’ 2017 class. He enrolled in junior college without ever arriving on campus in Lincoln.
Bland (6-4, 300) received attention from the Hogs last winter as a potential 2018 addition, but is now planning to be at Arizona Western for another season. Rivals rates him as a 4-star prospect in the 2019 class.
Arkansas’ new staff is hopeful to build on the success of the previous staff recruiting from Arizona Western. Senior tight end Jeremy Patton signed with the Hogs from Arizona Western as the No. 1 junior college tight end recruit in the 2017 class. Former Arkansas wide receiver Cody Hollister also played at Arizona Western and is now with the New England Patriots.
Mataio Soli to officially visit Arkansas in June
Arkansas defensive end target Mataio Soli recently set plans to officially visit Fayetteville in June. He’s expected to be on campus the second weekend of the month (June 7-9).
Soli (6-4, 225) is a 3-star prospect from Douglas County High School in Georgia. He had 77 tackles, 20 for loss, and 18 sacks as a junior last season.
He has nearly 30 offers from FBS programs with Arkansas extending one in February. His offer list also includes Alabama, Clemson, Stanford and several other Power 5 programs.
Soli unofficially visited Arkansas in late March. His father, Junior, was a defensive end at Arkansas from 1992-95. The elder Soli also made the trip to Fayetteville.
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