Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss recruiting efforts at the junior college level, a preseason honor for a 2018 commit and another potential dual-sports standout.
Arkansas increasingly successful recruiting high-level JUCO talent
Arkansas signed two top-10 junior college recruits in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports composite rankings. Only Alabama, which landed two in the top four, signed as many such players as the Razorbacks.
In the 2018 class, the Hogs are on track to bring in another top junior college talent. Independence (Kan.) Community College defensive tackle Emmit Gooden pledged to Arkansas earlier this month. He’s No. 10 overall and No. 3 at his position among junior college recruits in the class.
Securing Gooden’s commitment has the Hogs trending in a promising direction regarding junior college prospects. If Gooden signs in December as expected, he would join wide receiver Brandon Martin and tight end Jeremy Patton from the 2017 class as the highest rated junior college recruits Arkansas has signed in the Bret Bielema era.
So, out of 21 signees, the top three under Bielema will have come in the past two classes. And it’s really not even close. Defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter was No. 18 overall in the 2015 class. After that, it’s a significant drop to AJ Derby at No. 50 in the 2013 class.
Here’s a list of all junior college recruits signed (or in Gooden’s case committed) under Bielema at Arkansas. The list is sorted by the recruits rating according to the 247Sports composite.
|Name||Year signed||National rating||Position||JUCO|
|Brandon Martin||2017||No. 7||WR||Mississippi Gulf Coast|
|Jeremy Patton||2017||No. 8||TE||Arizona Western|
|Emmit Gooden||2018 (committed)||No. 10||DT||Independence (Kan.)|
|Jeremiah Ledbetter||2015||No. 18||DE||Hutchinson (Kan.)|
|AJ Derby||2013||No. 50||QB/TE||Coffeyville (Kan.)|
|Dominique Reed||2015||No. 55||WR||Coffeyville (Kan.)|
|Sebastian Tretola||2014||No. 56||OL||Iowa Western|
|Myke Tavarres||2013||No. 74||LB||Siskiyous (Calif.)|
|Martrell Spaight||2013||No. 80||LB||Coffeyville (Kan.)|
|Paul Ramirez||2016||No. 90||OL||San Bernardino Valley (Calif.)|
|Michael Taylor II||2016||No. 102||DE||Riverside (Calif.)|
|Britto Tutt||2016||No. 126||CB||Ventura (Calif.)|
|Deion Malone||2016||No. 113||OL||Northwest Mississippi|
|Jonathan Nance||2016||No. 154||WR||Mississippi Gulf Coast|
|Melvin Johnson||2016||No. 169||DT||Riverside (Calif.)|
|Johnathan McClure||2013||No. 173||OL||Butler (Kan.)|
|Cody Hollister||2014||No. 204||WR||Arizona Western|
|Tiquention Coleman||2013||No. 243||LB||Georgia Military|
|Gabe Richardson||2016||No. 255||LB||Hutchinson (Kan.)|
|Sam Irwin-Hill||2013||No. 304||P||City Coll. of San Francisco|
|Josh Williams||2014||N/A||LB||Dodge City (Kan.)|
Arkansas LB commit Bumper Pool makes preseason Super Team
Arkansas linebacker commit Bumper Pool continues to garner high recognition this offseason as one of the top players in Texas for the 2018 class.
He’s been rated as the No. 7 overall recruit in North Texas by the Dallas Morning News. He also earned linebacker MVP honors over more than 30 top prospects at the Dallas-area regional for Nike’s The Opening.
Pool recently added to his growing list of honors as he was named to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football preseason Super Team. The team is compromised of the top players in the class from the Lone Star State. He is one of three linebackers on the preseason list.
— Brandon Villarreal (@brandonvilla55) June 27, 2017
Could Arkansas get a 2-sport commit with Kam’ron Mays-Hunt?
When 4-star quarterback Connor Noland signs with Arkansas in December, the baseball program will benefit greatly. Noland, from Greenwood, Ark., excepts to join the team as a right-handed pitcher. He has a fastball that can already reach over 90 mph and three off-speed pitches to compliment it. The Diamond Hogs will be gaining this talent essentially for free since he’ll be on a full football scholarship.
Arkansas’ baseball team may be in line to (sort of) return the favor, though. Bentonville (Ark.) wide receiver Kam’ron Mays-Hunt was recently offered by the Diamond Hogs as a pitcher. Like Noland, he’s a right-hander with a fastball that can reach over 90 mph.
Mays-Hunt (6-1, 167) has football offers from Central Arkansas and Illinois State, both FCS schools. He had 51 receptions for 688 yards and 7 touchdowns for Bentonville last season.
His baseball scholarship to Arkansas, as is often the case across the country, would be only partial. Whereas a football scholarship elsewhere could potentially be full, particularly if he receives any FBS offers. But if he chooses baseball at Arkansas, the football and baseball programs could be sharing another dual-sport standout in the 2018 class.
It’s unknown at this time, but fair to say Mays-Hunt would probably be welcomed onto the football team. He hasn’t been offered and almost certainly won’t be, but the coaching staff definitely knows about him. More notably, it’s beginning to look like the Razorbacks won’t sign a wide receiver in the class. They should have plenty of depth at the position going forward regardless. But not signing a wide receiver is as much about that as it is the small number of available scholarships for this class. So, it would stand to reason that adding a talented player at the position, essentially as a walk-on, would be a welcomed bonus to the class.
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