Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss an incoming graduate transfer as well as a top target apparently down to Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Arkansas offense getting its big WR in Chase Harrell
Kansas graduate transfer wide receiver Chase Harrell recently announced that he’ll be heading to Arkansas. He had been a target of the Hogs coaching staff for the last few months. He took an official visit to campus in early June before deciding that Fayetteville would be his new home. Harrell can play immediately and has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
This isn’t an addition that is suddenly going to make Arkansas’ offense a juggernaut in the SEC. But it’s a vital addition nonetheless.
The Hogs have some respectable talent at wide receiver entering the 2018 season. Specifically, seniors Jared Cornelius and Jonathan Nance are proven veterans who should thrive in Chad Morris’ offense. Sophomore De’Vion Warren is a good fit for the scheme and could be in for a breakout season. Junior Deon Stewart wasn’t overly impressive in the spring, but he has plenty of experience after playing in 12 games last season with six starts.
Here’s the issue with all of those receivers: None of them give Morris’ offense the big target it desperately needs playing on the boundary. The Hogs refer to that position as the 9.
On paper, Arkansas’ best option at the 9 on the current roster is junior Brandon Martin. He has the ideal build at 6-foot-4, 219 pounds, with plenty of natural ability. Martin was mostly MIA last season and in the spring, though, as he dealt with injuries. The bottom line on Martin is it’s obvious the staff isn’t going to be reliant on him to fill that spot.
La’Michael Pettway (6-2, 224) likely would start at the position if the season began today. He had a very strong spring, but he’s been far from reliable during his three seasons at Arkansas.
Freshman Mike Woods is another logical option to possibly fill the 9 spot. He’ll definitely get playing time this season, though Woods (6-1, 186) is built more like a field receiver — or the 2 in Arkansas’ offense — being used in a variety of spots. The same seemingly is true for redshirt freshman Koilan Jackson (6-2, 211), who is coming off a torn ACL suffered last August.
This is why Harrell (6-4, 230) is an important addition. He has the size and experience to play 9 and provide an alternative to Pettway if needed. He was also well respected within Kansas’ program.
Sure, Harrell’s production with the Jayhawks wasn’t all that impressive — 25 catches for 221 yards last season. But Arkansas in its current state is a far better opportunity for a receiver with Harrell’s skills than Kansas. And if nothing else, he at least gives the Razorbacks some depth at an essential position in the new offense.
Arkansas, Texas A&M battling for 4-star DB Bobby Wolfe
Arkansas 2019 defensive back target Bobby Wolfe stated Monday that he’d be releasing his top 3 choices soon. But his post to Twitter a day later suggested he may be down to two finalists: Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Wolfe (6-2, 185) is a 4-star prospect from Madison High School in Houston. He announced a top 5 in early May that included Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M. In April, he also had Colorado and Oklahoma among his top schools before bumping both out and moving the Hogs into the picture.
Arkansas’ strong push to land Wolfe’s commitment has largely been due to the efforts of cornerbacks coach Mark Smith, who is his primary recruiter.
The one-time Texas A&M commit made an official visit to Fayetteville last weekend. He is expected to announce his commitment decision at The Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas, next month.
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