Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss the happenings surrounding the official visitors to Fayetteville last weekend.
Two commitments, basketball atmosphere highlight Arkansas’ strong weekend
Arkansas capped its best recruiting weekend in recent memory with a pair of commitments Sunday.
First, it was linebacker Andrew Parker from New Orleans who announced his pledge to the Razorbacks. Parker is a 3-star prospect, according to the 247Sports composite. He could be the steal of the class for the Hogs. He wasn’t highly recruited but definitely has the size (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) and speed (4.57 40-yard dash) of a promising prospect.
A few hours after Parker’s commitment, Owasso (Okla.) defensive end Courtre Alexander also joined the Hogs’ 2018 class. He’s a 3-star prospect as well and chose Arkansas over Texas. Alexander (6-4, 260) gives the Razorbacks a strong defensive line group in the 2018 class after they already signed Billy Ferrell, Nicholas Fulwider and Isaiah Nichols in December.
Parker and Alexander were two of nine official visitors during a weekend that turned out to be a success for Chad Morris and his staff.
Arkansas improved its chances with five other unsigned official visitors — running back Rakeem Boyd, safety Aaron Brule, safety Joseph Foucha, wide receiver Treveon Johnson and defensive end Tyree Wilson.
Boyd is next on the list of likely commits. His visit to Arkansas was so good it will be tough for Arizona and Colorado — his next two expected trips — to top.
Brule has moved the Hogs near the top of his list with Oklahoma State and TCU. Foucha also has Arkansas in his top 3 after the trip, joining Arizona State and Auburn. Both are from the New Orleans area, where the Razorbacks clearly haven’t lost any momentum recruiting despite the recent coaching change.
Johnson will be tough to flip from Oklahoma, though the trip to Fayetteville has at least made the decision more difficult. Same goes for Wilson, who is committed to Texas A&M.
One of the highlights of the weekend for all the visitors was the basketball game Saturday. Arkansas defeated Ole Miss 97-93 in front of a sold-out crowd at Bud Walton Arena. As much as the crowd helped the basketball team, the fans’ impact might have been just as significant on the football recruiting efforts. The official visitors received a standing ovation as they made their way to their seats.
“It went great,” Foucha said. “I had a lot of fun and got to meet new people. The fans are amazing.”
Talented unofficial visitors an added bonus
Arkansas also had safety Myles Mason and athlete Isaac Stoops on campus as unofficial visitors.
Mason is a 3-star safety from Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.) who is committed to Mississippi State. He officially visited in December just before the early signing period. That trip caused him to hold off on signing with the Bulldogs. He and his family making a trip to Fayetteville on their own dime is obviously a great sign for Arkansas’ chances at flipping his pledge.
Stoops is a 2-star prospect who could play either wide receiver or cornerback at the next level. His offer from Arkansas is as a preferred walk-on, though he’d be a significant pickup without having to use a scholarship. The son of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, he attends Norman (Okla.) North. His parents made the trip with him to Fayetteville. At this time, it seems most likely he joins his twin brother Drake as a preferred walk-on at Oklahoma. But the Hogs getting him on campus is promising for their chances should he decide on a change of scenery.
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