Welcome to SEC Country’s weekly Arkansas recruiting mailbag with reporter Trent Shadid. In this edition, we discuss a variety of topics from the 2018 basketball class to which offensive lineman the Hogs could get next.
For the 2018 basketball recruiting class, who can we expect to land? — @sam_melson23
The three commits are locked in. I realize people thought that with Reggie Perry as well, but his de-commitment didn’t come as a huge surprise to me. He’s a 5-star recruit attending high school in Georgia who is a Mississippi State legacy. Yes, he’s played a lot with the Arkansas Hawks, but there had been stronger signs pointing to him ending up elsewhere.
But as for the current commits — guards Isaiah Joe and Desi Sills, and forward Ethan Henderson — they aren’t going anywhere. All are in-state guys who won’t spurn Arkansas at this point unless something drastic happens.
There’s also 2019 commit Justice Hill. He is planning to re-classify, enroll in January of 2019 and be immediately eligible. In that case, he’d essentially count towards the 2018 class.
Among their targets, the Razorbacks’ chances appear to be best with Baton Rouge, La., forward Josh LeBlanc and Memphis, Tenn., guard T.J. Moss.
So, here’s how I’d project the class if signing day were today:
- Justice Hill, PG, Little Rock (Ark.) Christian
- Ethan Henderson, PF, Little Rock (Ark.) Parkview
- Isaiah Joe, G, Fort Smith (Ark.) Northside
- Josh LeBlanc, F, Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.)
- T.J. Moss, G, East (Memphis, Tenn.)
- Desi Sills, G, Jonesboro (Ark.)
What is your gut feeling on where Gerry Bohanon will land? — @zboatman4
I’d predict Baylor as the choice for Bohanon right now. The 4-star quarterback from Earle, Ark., took his most recent visit to Waco and things seemed to go very well. It seems obvious he’s the Bears’ top priority at quarterback right now.
Baylor isn’t nearly as loaded with young talent at the position as they were during the Art Briles era. So Bohanon may see a chance to come in and compete for early playing time there. While that factor isn’t a necessity for him, it is important.
However, I’ve been saying the longer his recruitment drags out, the better Arkansas’ chances become. I still believe that. Other teams will fills spots instead of waiting on him. In some cases, such as Mississippi State, schools already have. But the Hogs, while they do have a quarterback committed in the class, would likely take his commitment at any point regardless.
The recent Ole Miss news also helps Arkansas, and the other contenders, as the Rebels have long been one of his top choices. He visited Oxford just days before Hugh Freeze resigned.
Who is more likely to commit to Arkansas, Gerry Bohanon or Luke Ford? — @Marky_marka85
That’s really tough. I’m going to go with Ford, the 4-star tight end from Carterville, Ill.
In the previous answer, I said the longer Bohanon’s recruitment drags out, the better Arkansas’ chances become. While I firmly believe that, I don’t expect him to be unsettled on a decision long enough for that to matter. If his Baylor trip truly was great, he may pull the trigger on a pledge to the Bears very soon.
As for Ford, he still keeps in touch with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on a regular basis. That’s important. It shows he hasn’t completely shut out the Hogs despite his de-commitment in June. I don’t think his re-commitment is likely, but he’s at least keeping Arkansas in mind while making all the rounds to several top programs.
Is having a dual threat in Bohanon not a great idea? A pro-style guy (Noland) and a dual guy? Options. We play different defenses. — @AzrielWynge
Arkansas would be all for having Bohanon and 4-star quarterback commit Connor Noland. I have been told offensive coordinator Dan Enos has gone over with Bohanon how they would tweak the offense to best use him. A lot of that entailed using him as a runner.
Bohanon doesn’t have blazing speed, but he’s big and tough to bring down. Noland, who actually runs pretty well himself, is valued more for his arm than legs. The ideal scenario would probably be using them like Florida did with Tim Tebow (Bohanon) and Chris Leak (Noland) when the Gators won the 2006 national title.
All that being said, the issue is it doesn’t make sense for Bohanon. The Hogs already have Noland firmly committed. He was their top priority and fits their offense well. Why wouldn’t Bohanon go somewhere where he’s that same type of priority and fit? I believe that’s his thinking right now.
Have you heard anything about Blaine Scott de-committing from Ole Miss? — @zboatman4
Scott, a 3-star guard from Portsmouth, Ohio, hasn’t announced a de-commitment from Ole Miss. That’s not to say it isn’t coming. My inclination is the Rebels’ 2018 class will fall apart, for obvious reasons. They already had one de-commit last week (3-star CB Jaylin Williams).
It probably helps Ole Miss at least a little bit that it promoted offensive line coach Matt Luke to interim head coach. Luke has been Scott’s primary recruiter, playing a major role in helping secure his commitment. But with an interim tag, there’s no guarantee Scott would ever get to play for Luke.
Scott is the Rebels’ top commit right now and he has more than 30 offers. With all those options, it’s hard to believe he’ll stick with Ole Miss, especially once the specifics of the coming NCAA sanctions are announced.
In the case Scott does de-commit, Arkansas would stand to potentially benefit. He had the Hogs among his final four choices last spring with Duke and Rutgers also in the mix.
Do you think having a good season will help land some of the bigger guys out there? — @Marky_marka85
Well, absolutely. Success on the field is always the best tool for recruiting.
A strong season wouldn’t necessarily help for the 2018 class, though. Every spot is nearly filled up and most are expected to sign in December. So, don’t expect much fluctuation in the group between now and then. But for future classes, a competitive season in the SEC West could work wonders.
How do you feel about Arkansas’ chances with DaShaun White? — @Marky_marka85
Arkansas’ chances with 4-star outside linebacker DaShaun White appear to be slipping away. It seems as if both sides have moved on, with him showing stronger interest in Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas A&M. The Hogs have locked in on Maureese Wren for their outside linebacker spot in the class. He’s visiting Thursday and could be on the verge of committing.
Who do you think the third offensive lineman will be? — @Marky_marka85
The Razorbacks have two offensive line commits, leaving them with one more spot left to fill on the unit in this class. There are some top options who still have Arkansas on their radar, with Penei Sewell, a 4-star from Saint George, Utah, being the most notable. But I don’t see the Hogs getting Sewell or any top 300 recruit for the final spot.
Scott, the Ole miss commit, may be the best realistic option. Jerome Carvin from the Memphis area and Princeton Pines from Baton Rouge are also names to know as potential options. Both are 3-star prospects.
A more likely option is Lake Hamilton (Pearcy, Ark.) tackle Will Burgess. The coaching staff really wanted to see him in action at the Trench Hogs camp in June, but a foot injury had him on crutches. He was still there and told me at that time there was a strong mutual interest. If he looks good this fall, a late offer may come.
Arkansas could also opt to give Star City (Ark.) 3-star tackle Jax Gasaway a scholarship immediately if the spot remains unfilled late in the process. He currently has an offer to walk-on with the expectation he’ll be put on scholarship at some point.
To submit a question for recruiting mailbags, email Shadid13@gmail.com or send a message to @Shadid13 on Twitter.