Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss a quarterback commit, a new commit and a 2019 target pledging elsewhere.
QB commit Connor Noland adding pounds, growing as season nears
Arkansas quarterback commit Connor Noland is working hard to add “good” weight ahead of his senior season at Greenwood (Ark.) High School. As August nears, he’s seeing encouraging gains and is nearly right where he wants to be.
After playing at 185 pounds as a junior, Noland is up to 205 with the goal of playing at 210 this upcoming season. So, what’s been his secret to bulking up?
“Working out very hard, lifting, eating very healthy food and pounding protein shakes,” Noland recently told SEC Country.
Noland is also a standout right-handed pitcher at Greenwood and is committed to the Razorbacks in both sports. He spent the spring and parts of the summer balancing weightlifting for football around his busy baseball schedule. He’s been effective enough, though, adding 10 pounds since his spring baseball season ended in May.
“I have been very focused on putting on more good weight while getting quicker and faster as well,” Noland said. “I would say the last seven or eight weeks have been very productive.”
A little bit of added height has also helped Noland, who celebrated his 18th birthday last week, put on the pounds. He’s grown an inch from last fall to 6-foot-3. There seems to be the potential for more growth, too. His father, Frank, is 6-foot-5 and didn’t finish growing until after high school.
Now at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Noland isn’t far from having the type of size desired of a quarterback at the next level. For instance, current Arkansas starter Austin Allen is just 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, and is on the short side of being a prototypical Power 5 quarterback. Noland isn’t even far off the NFL average for height and weight at the position (roughly 6-3, 220 back in 2013).
However, Noland hasn’t been adding to his build in preparation to play at Arkansas, much less the NFL. At least not yet. His focus for the time being is on Greenwood and developing into the best version of himself he can be while still at the school 70 miles south of Fayetteville.
“I’m working hard and getting ready for my last football season as a Greenwood Bulldog,” Noland said. “We really want to bring some state championships back to Greenwood. Football this fall, then baseball next spring.
“I feel like I have the best teammates, coaches, fans and high school anywhere. I’m very proud to be part of the Greenwood tradition and I want them to be proud of me as well.”
WR target Jalen Curry pledges to Florida State
For the time being, wide receiver Jalen Curry can be scratched off the list of possibilities for Arkansas’ 2019 class.
The 4-star recruit from Stafford (Texas) High School committed to Florida State over the weekend. Curry (6-4, 200) visited Arkansas in the spring and received an offer from the Hogs at that time. He also held offers from Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma and several other Power 5 conference programs.
Even with such an extensive list of options, Curry had expressed strong interest in the Razorbacks. As early as last month, he was even planning to schedule another trip to Fayetteville. It now appears that is unlikely, although there is a long way to go between now and when he can officially sign. If things should get shaky at any point with his pledge to the Seminoles, the Hogs may be an intriguing alternative.
ICYMI: In-state OL Luke Jones commits to Arkansas
Arkansas’ 2018 class gained commitment No. 10 over the weekend with offensive lineman Luke Jones announcing his pledge.
Jones (6-foot-6, 290 pounds) is a 3-star tackle from Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Ark. He visited campus last week for a second time this summer, a trip that apparently helped seal the deal.
In case you missed the news, click here for more on Jones.
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