Arkansas’ 2018 recruiting class sits at nine commitments with just over five months remaining until prospects will have their first chance to sign a National Letter of Intent.
The Razorbacks likely won’t have room to sign more than 15 players in the class, so they’ve made good progress to this point. As July recruiting gets into full swing, the coaching staff will push to secure at least another two or three commitments. If that happens, they’ll be able to head into fall camp with only a few spots left to fill. That’s an ideal situation as coach Bret Bielema often likes to his staff to devote as much attention to the current team as possible during the season.
Here’s an early glance at where things stand for the 2018 class:
Where it ranks
Two top targets — outside linebacker Thurman Geathers and offensive lineman Jalynn Strickland — announced their commitments Tuesday. The Hogs missed out on both, with Geathers pledging to Louisville and Strickland to North Carolina State.
There are other commitment possibilities on the horizon, though. Three major targets — outside linebacker Maureese Wren, tackle Luke Jones and defensive end Nicholas Fulwider — are all expected to visit campus later this month. All three are expected to announce a commitment not long after with the Hogs firmly among their top possibilities. An effective visit could seal the deal in favor of the Razorbacks
In case you missed anything from this week, here are the latest headlines:
- Updating the top outside linebacker targets
- Arkansas recruiting has busy Fourth of July with good and bad news
- Arkansas TE signee Jeremy Patton officially enrolled, headed to campus
- 2018 OLB Maureese Wren plans to visit Arkansas later this month
- Arkansas DL target Nicholas Fulwider sets tentative decision date
Offers by the numbers
- Reported offers: 147
- 5-star offers: 5
- 4-star offers: 69
- In-state recruits offered: 7
- Texas recruits offered: 30
- Georgia recruits offered: 24
- Florida recruits offered: 22
- 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
- T Noah Gatlin, 3-star, Jonesboro (Ark.)
- DL Isaiah Nichols, 3-star, Springdale (Ark.)
5 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 (6-7, 250) 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 in June. 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 DL Nicholas Fulwider, Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.)
Fulwider expects to announce his school of choice late this month. He’ll visit Arkansas for a second time this summer at some point before making his decision. His initial trip in June turned out better than expected and helped put the Hogs in high standing with him.
In recent days, Fulwider (6-6, 245) trimmed his list to three top choices — Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. His offer list also includes Michigan State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
If Arkansas can secure Fulwider’s commitment soon, the 2018 defensive line group will be completed with three commitments.
3-star OLB Maureese Wren, Horn (Mesquite, Texas)
Arkansas offered him June 19 and has been heavily recruiting him since. The Hogs are joined by Baylor, Colorado, Missouri, Utah, Washington and 14 other FBS programs on his list of offers.
He is expecting to visit Fayetteville shortly after the recruiting dead period ends July 9. It’s very likely the Hogs push to lock in his commitment when he visits. Initially expecting to wait until Sept. 27, his birthday, Wren recently stated he may now be looking to commit earlier.
Wren (6-4, 216) is friends with Arkansas cornerback commit Tanner McCalister, who attends Heath High School in Rockwall, Texas. McCalister is one of three Razorbacks commits from the Dallas area, the same region where Wren lives.
3-star T Luke Jones, Pulaski Academy (Little Rock, Ark.)
Jones has grown up an Arkansas fan and his older brother attends the school. Those facts have helped give a strong indication he’ll soon pledge to the Razorbacks. That commitment could come as earlier as July 19, or shortly after, when he’s planning to visit campus.
A 6-6, 290-pound tackle, Jones earned his offer from the Hogs at their Trench Hogs camp last month. The two other in-state recruits who received offers that day — Isaiah Nichols and Noah Gatlin — have already committed.
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: 0/1
- 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)