Welcome to SEC Country’s weekly Arkansas recruiting mailbag with reporter Trent Shadid. In this edition, we discuss offensive and defensive line targets, moving on from a basketball de-commit and more.
With Curtis Dunlap gone to Florida, what other OL targets are you feeling good about? — @Jamaaljackson18
First, I wasn’t the least bit surprised to see Arkansas miss out on Curtis Dunlap. He had them in his top five, but never made a trip to campus and it didn’t seem like he would. He’s a 4-star recruit and one of the top offensive linemen in the 2018 class, so getting him to come far away from home (he’s from Jacksonville, Fla., and attends high school just south of Tampa) was always going to be a tall task.
Now, with Dunlap presumably off the board, the Hogs still has a few other big-time targets they are at least in the discussion to get.
At the top of that list is 4-star tackle Penei Sewell from St. George, Utah. He’s the No. 50 overall player in the class, and he’s already visited Arkansas’ campus. There’s also Darrell Simpson, a 4-star tackle from Justin, Texas, who has the Razorbacks among his top choices. He hasn’t visited, but has expressed a desire to at some point.
I don’t think Arkansas will ultimately sign either of those guys. They have too many other top options much closer to home for Arkansas to have a realistic chance.
Another possibility is 3-star tackle Jerome Carvin from the Memphis, Tenn., area. He visited campus for a game last season and has seemed interested in the Hogs. But with offers from schools like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Tennessee, the Razorbacks may become an afterthought when he’s closer to a decision.
Other than that, keep an eye on 3-star guard Princeton Pines from Baton Rouge, La. He has an offer and also visited for a game last season.
There’s also a pretty decent group of in-state offensive linemen to fall back on and offer if a spot needs to be filled late.
Do you think we will be able to replace Reggie Perry with a quality player? Or will it end up being a role player? — @JGates07
More than likely his replacement on the basketball court will be more of a role player with the potential to turn into something special. The 6-foot-8, 215-pound Reggie Perry is already very special and there really aren’t any comparable replacements to him considering he’s a 5-star recruit and top 20 player in the 2018 class.
I’ve got two players worth keeping a close eye on to potentially fill his spot in the class:
- Josh LeBlanc, 4-star F, Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.)
- Reggie Chaney, 3-star F, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
Both of those players are athletic 6-7 forwards who can run the floor and would fit well in Arkansas’ style of play. The coaching staff has put in a lot of work on LeBlanc and there’s reason to believe they have a strong chance with him. As for Chaney, he was just recently offered. The coaches got a good look at him during the Nike Peach Jam tournament July 12-16 in South Carolina and obviously liked what they saw.
It’s important to keep in mind Arkansas’ class is still pretty good without Perry. Desi Sills (3-star G) and Isaiah Joe (4-star G) make up a solid backcourt group. Ethan Henderson (4-star PF) is a top 100 overall talent and could develop into an outstanding presence in the post. There’s still room to add a couple more, likely a wing and a post, and put together a very strong class.
Any update on Ronnie Perkins from St. Louis? Is Arkansas still in the mix for him? — @zboatman4
I don’t believe Ronnie Perkins, a 4-star defensive lineman, is considering Arkansas at this time. He’d previously said he would definitely try to visit Fayetteville and seemed to be legitimately interested. But he has released a list of his top 12 and the Hogs didn’t make the cut. LSU, Michigan and Oklahoma seem to be his true leaders.
The Razorbacks definitely want at least one more defensive lineman in this class. Those options essentially start and end with 3-star Nicholas Fulwider for the time being. From the Atlanta area, Fulwider is planning a second visit to Arkansas and a decision may come not long after. His other top choices include Georgia Tech, Indiana, North Carolina, Rutgers and Vanderbilt.
Can we pay recruits if they promise not to tell anyone? — @mitchesbritches
It’s good to see my man Mitch making what I believe is his debut in the recruiting mailbag. Be sure to come back again. As for your question, I suppose I’ll entertain it.
There’s nothing stopping anyone from the act of paying recruits. Particularly those who promise not to say a word. But there are consequences. Do Arkansas fans really want to end up in the same boat as Ole Miss right now?
As I ask that question, I legitimately wonder if some might not mind it for a chance to seriously compete to win the SEC the next couple of years. I asked an Ole Miss fan not long ago if he felt the expected sanctions coming from the NCAA (largely for paying players) were worth it for a couple wins over Alabama. He thought for a while and never actually gave me a straight answer. It seemed like he was saying, “Yes, the cheating was worth it,” without wanting to say those words.
But I would put Arkansas among the least likely schools in the SEC to be involved in such activity. Sorry if you’re one of those who would be all for it, Mitch.
To submit a question for recruiting mailbags, email Shadid13@gmail.com or send a message to @Shadid13 on Twitter.