June is coming to a close and what a month it was for Arkansas’ 2018 football recruiting class.
Six of the the Razorbacks’ nine commitments in the class announced their pledge during the month. While another, tight end Luke Ford, de-committed. The coaching staff recruited heavily throughout the first three weeks of June. They took part in several camps both on campus and of the satellite variety, and hosted a number of high-priority targets.
The current dead period, which runs through July 9, has slowed things down for the time being. Though the Fourth of July is expected to provide interesting news for the Hogs, good or bad. More on that later.
Arkansas may not be far off from completing its 2018 class. The group is expected to be small in terms of signees. The Hogs are projected to lose 12 scholarship seniors after the 2017 season. There are also two blueshirts from the 2017 class who will receive scholarships between now and December. These numbers make it difficult to envision Arkansas signing more than roughly 15 players, though a lot can change between now and then.
Here’s an early glance at where things stand for the 2018 class:
Where it ranks
Things have been quiet the past week after the Razorbacks had three players in the 2018 class announce their pledge the previous week. There hasn’t even been a new offer sent out within the past seven days.
The recruiting cycle is currently in a dead period. Most of the news regarding the top recruits in the country will come from Nike’s The Opening finals taking place in Oregon throughout the next four days. There are a few Arkansas targets in attendance.
There are two top targets — outside linebacker Thurman Geathers and offensive lineman Jalynn Strickland — expected to announce their commitment decisions on July 4. Both have the Razorbacks among their top choices.
In case you missed anything from this week, here are the latest headlines:
- Arkansas recruiting targets to watch at The Opening this week
- Arkansas emerging as popular pick for top junior college recruits
- DL Nicholas Fulwider has Arkansas in top 6 after visit exceeds expectations
- Arkansas CB target LaDarrius Bishop once told an Arkansas assistant ‘no sitting down in the weight room’
- Arkansas QB commit Connor Noland reaches out to former commit Luke Ford
- Five 2018 targets who could commit to Arkansas next
- Committing to Arkansas an easy choice for 2018 DL Isaiah Nichols
- Defensive line coach John Scott Jr. battling to land more Georgia recruits
Offers by the numbers
- Reported offers: 145
- 5-star offers: 5
- 4-star offers: 69
- In-state recruits offered: 7
- Texas recruits offered: 30
- Georgia recruits offered: 23
- Florida recruits offered: 21
- Louisiana recruits offered: 17
- QB Connor Noland, 4-star, Greenwood (Ark.)
- LB Bumper Pool, 4-star, Lovejoy (Lucas, Texas)
- CB Byron Hanspard II, 4-star CB, DeSoto (Texas)
- ATH Sean Michael Flanagan, 3-star, Charleston (Ark.)
- RB Jeremy Gibson, 3-star, Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.)
- CB Tanner McCalister, 3-star, Rockwall-Heath (Rockwall, Texas)
- DT Emmit Gooden, 3-star, Independence (Kan.) Community College
- OL Noah Gatlin, 3-star, Jonesboro (Ark.)
- DL Isaiah Nichols, 3-star, Springdale (Ark.)
3 top uncommitted targets
4-star QB Gerry Bohanon, Earle (Ark.)
Bohanon (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) was set to announce his commitment last month. Instead, he announced his top-6 schools. Arkansas made the cut along with Baylor, Georgia, Louisville, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
Noland being committed complicates the Hogs’ chances of landing Bohanon, though it’s a possibility. Bohanon seems to want to stay in the Natural State, and Bielema has stated the Hogs would be willing to sign two quarterbacks in the class.
4-star TE Luke Ford, Carterville (Ill.)
Ford (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) has gone from firmly to committed to a top target for the Razorbacks. Getting him back in this class is a possibility, but it shouldn’t be expected.
He has visited — or has plans to visit — Alabama, Georgia and LSU since de-committing earlier this month. He’s also expected to visit Florida and Ohio State in the future. He seems to be growing fond of the idea of staying home and playing at Illinois. That’s stout competition.
On the bright side, Arkansas can point to its two Mackey Award winners since 2010 to trump all others. No other program has two since 2000 when the award for the nation’s top tight end came into existence.
3-star OLB Thurman Geathers, North Cobb (Kennesaw, Georgia)
The Razorbacks are hopeful things go their way on Independence Day with Geathers and Strickland. I think Geathers is a more pressing need, because the Hogs don’t have a true outside linebacker committed in the class. Though Strickland, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound offensive tackle, would be a nice addition as well.
At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Geathers would fit nicely into the Hogs’ 3-4 scheme as a versatile linebacker who can rush the passer, play the run and cover when needed. He has 77 tackles and 15 sacks as a junior at North Cobb. His other top choices include Indiana, Louisville and North Carolina State.
Here’s a breakdown of the number of commits by position and how many are projected to be signed:
- QB: 1/1 (Noland)
- RB: 1/1 (Gibson)
- TE: 0/0
- WR: 0/0
- OL: 1/3 (Gatlin)
- DL: 2/3 (Gooden, Nichols)
- ILB: 1/1 (Pool)
- OLB: 0/2
- CB: 2/3 (Hanspard II, McCalister)
- S: 1/1 (Flanagan)
Here’s a breakdown of Arkansas’ commits by state:
- Arkansas: 4 (Flanagan, Gatlin, Nichols, Noland)
- Texas: 3 (Hanspard II, McCalister, Pool)
- Louisiana: 1 (Gibson)
- Kansas: 1 (Gooden)