Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss an upcoming commitment announcement, some future visitors and more.
Arkansas in LaDarrius Bishop‘s top 3 ahead of commitment decision
Arkansas cornerback target LaDarrius Bishop will announce his commitment decision this Saturday, sources have confirmed to SEC Country. Danny West of HawgSports first reported the news Sunday evening.
Bishop (6-foot, 205 pounds) is a 3-star recruit according to 247Sports composite ratings. From Ashdown, Ark., he is the No. 5 Natural State prospect in the 2018 class. Arkansas, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State are his finalists.
Speed is considered Bishop’s top attribute. Also a standout sprinter in track, he ran a 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds at a Mississippi State camp earlier this summer. He uses those wheels to his advantage at defensive back, wide receiver and as a kick returner for Ashdown High School.
“He has a different gear,” Ashdown coach Matt Richardson told SEC Country last month. “There’s times we’ll throw the ball up, it looks like it’s overthrown and there’s another gear that kicks in. He’s one of those kind of players that has extra in the tank and they know they can go get it.
“He can go get somebody on defense when he needs to or he can make something big happen on offense when it needs to happen.”
Mississippi State moved Bishop to the top of its priority list at defense back after his performance at the Bulldogs’ camp. They’ve been recruiting him hard, as has Oklahoma State, but Arkansas remains the favorite.
Arkansas 2017 safety signee Montaric Brown, also from Ashdown, is Bishop’s cousin. The two are close friends and have expressed a desire to play together again. Brown hasn’t yet arrived on campus as he’s still working to get academically cleared. That is expected to happen soon.
The Hogs do already have three players expected to play defensive back — two of them at cornerback — among their nine commitments in the 2018 class. If Bishop chooses Arkansas, that will almost certainly put the finishing touches on the position group for the class.
OLB target Maureese Wren sets visit date
With a recruiting dead period now in the rearview mirror, Arkansas is on tap for some major targets visiting campus in the coming weeks.
First up will be 2018 Horn (Mesquite, Texas) outside linebacker target Maureese Wren, who will visit campus Friday. He announced last week his plans to visit Arkansas once the dead period ended July 9, and confirmed the specific date last weekend.
Wren (6-4, 216) is a 3-star recruit according to the 247Sports. He’s listed as an athlete prospect and is being recruited by programs to play outside linebacker, safety or wide receiver. The Razorbacks view him as an outside linebacker. Last season at Horn, he primarily played receiver.
Wren is friends with Arkansas cornerback commit Tanner McCalister. Both players are from the Dallas area, as are linebacker commit Bumper Pool and cornerback commit Byron Hanspard II.
Wren’s older brother, Erick, is the starting center at Oklahoma and is on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy.
Arkansas offered Wren on June 19. Baylor, Colorado, Missouri, Utah, Washington and 14 other FBS programs are on his list of offers. He expects to announce his verbal commitment on his birthday, Sept. 27. However, he recently indicated he might decide earlier. If all goes well for the Hogs, that decision may come this weekend.
Here’s a quick list of other top targets confirmed to be visiting this month:
- July 15: Ty Evans, 2019 QB, Palmer Ridge (Monument, Colo.)
- July 19: Luke Jones, 2018 3-star T, Pulaski Academy (Little Rock, Ark.)
- July 19: Hudson Henry, 2019 4-star TE, Pulaski Academy (Little Rock, Ark.)
- TBA: Nicholas Fulwider, 2018 3-star DL, Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.)
ICYMI: Bret Bielema deserves some credit for standing by policy
I don’t write many opinion pieces on recruiting, though I’m hoping to do so more often. It’s something I really enjoy. It can just be tricky sometimes when the main topic is kids in their mid-to-late teens.
I try to pick my spots, and I felt like I found the perfect opportunity with coach Bret Bielema and his no-visit policy. More specifically, when Bielema recently stuck to his rule of commits not visiting other schools after 4-star tight end Luke Ford decided he wanted to make trips elsewhere. Ford was the Razorbacks highest-rated commit before Bielema’s rule forced him to de-commit.
Ford has since said he’d likely still be committed if not for Bielema’s policy. It would have been easy, I think, for Bielema to make an exception for such a talented player. He didn’t, which I thought was commendable and I essentially wrote just that last Saturday.
Anyway, it seemed as if a lot of folks were interested in the piece as I got a lot of questions regarding it over the weekend. So, I thought I’d drop it in here in case you missed it. Click the headline below to give it a read:
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