There are striking similarities between Arkansas QB commit John Stephen Jones and a Heisman winner
Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss Arkansas’ new quarterback commit, the Hogs in the top 3 for a top target and more.
Ignore the recruiting rating, John Stephen Jones can be a star at Arkansas
If you see John Stephen Jones in a public setting, nothing about him suggests he’s a standout football player. The Arkansas quarterback commit appears too small, and there’s no reason to believe he’s overly athletic. Basically, he just looks like a typical high school senior.
But that’s also what people have been saying about 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield for a long time. The similarities between Jones and Mayfield at this point in Jones’ career are many.
Like Mayfield, Jones is a 3-star recruit according to the 247Sports composite largely because he’s viewed as undersized (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) at quarterback. Both were ranked outside the top 1,000 overall in their class despite prolific high school careers in Texas. Mayfield led his team to a state title at Lake Travis (Austin), and Jones won back-t0-back state championships with Highland Park (Dallas).
Watch Jones on film, and you’ll see more similarities to Mayfield. It’s hard to even explain, but Jones just looks like he’s a step ahead of everyone else on the field. He’s an effective scrambler without being overly quick or fast. He knows where to go with the ball, when to get it there and how to execute the throw without having the strongest arm around.
Jones is simply a playmaker and, most importantly, he’s a winner. Those, too, are trademark Mayfield qualities. After Jones committed to Arkansas on Sunday, Razorbacks fans are hoping the comparisons to the former Oklahoma quarterback will last for at least another four or five years.
Arkansas in top 3 for Caleb Okechukwu following visit
Arkansas has made the final three choices for defensive end Caleb Okechukwu following his official visit to Fayetteville this past weekend.
Okechukwu (6-4, 250) is a 3-star prospect from St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. His visit to Arkansas was his final recruiting trip before announcing his decision on National Signing Day. Syracuse and Texas are his other finalists. He visited both those schools in late January.
One of the more intriguing prospects in the 2018 class, Okechukwu was an Under Armour All-American despite being ranked outside the top 1,400 recruits in his class. His offer list, which also includes Arizona and Tennessee, is also far better than most with his ranking.
Okechukwu has set his announcement for 1 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Check with SEC Country at that time for the news of his announcement.
Reminder: Arkansas hosting National Signing Day events for fans
Arkansas fans will have a chance to hear coach Chad Morris’ thoughts on the 2018 signing class at events open to the public Wednesday.
The Signing Day on the Hill event will be held Wednesday at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Springdale. Tickets for the event are $50 per person, which includes a buffet dinner. Tables reserved to seat 10 begin at $500. There are also VIP and corporate tables available. Morris is set to speak at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased through the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Club by calling 479-685-0320, or online at NWARazorbackClub.org.
The Signing Day in the Rock event will be Thursday at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. General admission tickets are $25, and tickets that include reserved seating and a buffet dinner are $75. Reserved tables for 10 start at $750 with VIP tables also available. The event will begin at 6:45 p.m. with doors opening at 5:15 p.m.
General admission tickets can be purchased by visiting a Central Arkansas First Security Bank location. The Little Rock Razorback Club is selling reserved tickets at LRRazorbackClub.com.
Fans who attend either event also will have the opportunity to meet Morris and members of the new staff.
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