Join us daily at SEC Country for “Trent’s Trough” as Arkansas beat writer Trent Shadid provides the latest recruiting news.
Arkansas staff optimistic following contact period
Sunday brought an end to a busy 15-day recruiting contact period for Arkansas’ coaching staff. According to coach Bret Bielema, the Hogs put the time to good use.
“It’s been a long couple of weeks,” Bielema said Monday. “Last night was the last night we could be on live recruiting. I was in four states (Sunday). It was a heck of a way to spend Sunday, but it’s been good. I think recruiting is going very, very well. Kids are excited. We gained some momentum here the last two weeks. I think we should have a good week this week.”
From Monday through Jan. 11, the recruiting cycle is in a dead period. During this time no in-person contact with recruits is permitted. Coaches can still communicate through social media, in writing and on the phone.
The Razorbacks currently have 19 commits in the 2017 class. At least seven of those have plans to enroll at midterm. As Bielema mentioned, this may be a strong week for the class with junior college players able to sign their National Letter of Intent beginning Wednesday.
The Hogs are among the frontrunners for Blinn College (Brenham, Texas) 3-star defensive tackle Javier Edwards, who is expected to announce his choice Wednesday. Arkansas also is a serious contender to land Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College 4-star wide receiver Brandon Martin.
The top junior college wide receiver in the class, Martin plans to sign his National Letter of Intent on Thursday. If he signs with the Razorbacks, he will be their sixth wide receiver commit in an impressive class for the position.
“I’m excited about it,” wide receivers coach Michael Smith recently said. “It’s still a long ways away, but if everything holds true, I think our receiving corps will be fine and I think this team is going to be fine with the kids that we have committed to us right now. And once we get them here, we’re going to coach them hard and try and get them ready to help us win a championship.”
In total, Arkansas expects to sign 23 to 25 players in the class.
“That’s definitely what we’re looking at,” Smith said. “I think we’re putting together another very, very good class. Our thing here at Arkansas is that we get the right guys. We’ve done that over the years. If we can continue to do that, we’ll be able to hold our own in this conference.”
Calloway has Hogs in top 3
Arkansas is in the top 3 for one of its top remaining targets. Bishop Dunne High School (Dallas) 4-star cornerback Chevin Calloway told 247Sports the Hogs, Ole Miss and Texas are his top choices.
Calloway (5-11, 180) received two in-home visits from Arkansas coaches during the contact period. He plans to take an official visit to Fayetteville in January, just ahead of National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
— EJ Holland (@EJHolland247) December 12, 2016
Commit Barkley offered by Michigan State
Arkansas 2017 athlete commit Maleek Barkley recently received an offer from Michigan State.
From Lake Travis High School (Austin, Texas), Barkley (6-0, 185) committed to the Hogs last April. He also has reported offers from Arizona, Illinois and Utah.
Primarily a running back at Lake Travis, Barkley projects to play wide receiver at the next level. He has 1,303 rushing yards, 475 receiving yards and 22 total touchdowns this season. Lake Travis will face The Woodlands in the Texas 6A DI state title game this Saturday.
— Maleek Barkley (@Leek_B2) December 12, 2016
Clemons commits to A&M
It appears 2017 defensive end target Micheal Clemons can officially come off Arkansas’ recruiting board.
The Cisco (Texas) College 4-star prospect announced his pledge to Texas A&M last Saturday. The Hogs had been high on Clemons (6-6, 250) since they extended an offer in late August. He chose the Aggies over Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss.
Clemons is the No. 2 strong-side defensive end and No. 14 overall junior college prospect in the class.
— ‼️❌CYCLOPS❌‼️ (@GloriousProspec) December 10, 2016
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.