Join us here at SEC Country for the “Calling the Hogs” notebook, providing insight on all the latest Arkansas recruiting news.
8 targets for ’18
Arkansas has 19 commitments in its 2017 recruiting class and has begun to shift more focus to the 2018 class.
The Razorbacks already have one commit for 2018 in 4-star quarterback Connor Noland from Greenwood (Ark.) High School. Noland is the top in-state player in the class and is considered a major priority for the Razorbacks.
Here’s a look at some of Arkansas’ top targets in the class.
Terrace Marshall, 5-star WR, Parkway High School (Bossier City, La.)
- Skinny: The No. 1 2018 prospect in Louisiana has outstanding size and athletic ability. He is 6-foot-4, 190 pounds with a 29.9-inch vertical and a 4.5-second 40-yard dash time. He was offered by the Razorbacks in May. Landing his commitment over LSU and Alabama easily would be the biggest steal of the Bret Bielema era. As a sophomore, he had 53 receptions for 1,348 yards and 14 touchdowns.
- Why Arkansas could land him: Wide receivers coach Michael Smith, a New Orleans native, has become an ace at landing recruits from The Boot. The Razorbacks have signed 10 players from the state the past three years. Three more are committed for 2017. Smith has served as the primary recruiter. Smith also is known for developing players. The Razorbacks have one of the deepest receiving corps in the country. Proximity could play a role, too. Bossier City is about an hour south of the Arkansas border.
- Outlook: It’s highly unlikely Arkansas lands Marshall. The appeal to head north for Louisiana recruits has been because they’ve been overlooked by LSU. The Tigers jumped on Marshall early, offering him in February. The Razorbacks also likely will break in a new starting quarterback during Marshall’s freshman season. Consider LSU the heavy favorite.
Penei Sewell, 4-star OT, Desert Hills High School (Saint George, Utah)
- Skinny: At 6-4, 320 pounds, Sewell will enter college with the size and strength to potentially play as a true freshman. The top prospect in Utah and No. 9 offensive tackle in the class, he received an Arkansas offer in early June. He also reportedly has offers from 12 other schools in Power 5 conferences. Sewell’s highlights reveal a fearless blocking style. He has exceptional feet and strong hands.
- Why Arkansas could land him: Having the biggest offensive line in all of football, including the NFL, in 2015 has helped Arkansas mightily on the recruiting trail. First-year offensive line coach Kurt Anderson also has helped with recruiting. The Razorbacks received commitments from three of their top targets in the 2017 class. Furthermore, Sewell’s ruthless blocking style also would fit perfectly in Bielema’s run-first, pro-style system.
- Outlook: It’s hard to envision any program pulling Sewell out of the West Coast. He holds offers from six Pac-12 schools, BYU and several others in the region. His older brother, Gabriel, is a redshirt freshman linebacker at Nevada. It would be surprising if the younger Sewell signs with the Wolfpack. Consider Arkansas on the outside, with BYU, UCLA and Utah in the lead.
Bumper Pool, 4-star LB, Lovejoy High School (Lucas, Texas)
- Skinny: As a sophomore, Pool was a first-team all-district linebacker with 148 tackles, playing in Texas’ highly competitive Class 5A. At 6-2, 215 pounds, Pool can get in the backfield. He can make plays sideline to sideline, too.
- Why Arkansas could land him: The Razorbacks’ chances are strong. Pool has ties and familiarity with Arkansas. His dad attended, and his sister is a student at the school. He visited Fayetteville in June after receiving an offer in May. He’s also reportedly planning to attend at least three Arkansas games this season.
- Outlook: The competition to sign the No. 5 inside linebacker in the class is stout. Alabama, Baylor, Michigan, TCU and other major programs are in pursuit. The Razorbacks are in good shape thanks to his ties to the school. Arkansas is among the favorites — if not the favorite — to get Pool’s commitment.
Mustapha Muhammad, 4-star TE, Ridge Point High School (Missouri City, Texas)
- Skinny: He has impressed coaches at camps during the summer. Muhammad might be considered the top tight end in the class before his recruitment is finished. The No. 5 tight end in the class has all the tools — 6-4, 230 pounds with a 4.7-second 40-yard dash time — to become an elite college player. He had 19 receptions for 321 yards and 5 touchdowns as a sophomore.
- Why Arkansas could land him: Few teams utilize the tight end more than Bielema. Hunter Henry won the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end last season. Senior Jeremy Sprinkle is among the top candidates for the award this season. Back-to-back Mackey winners would help the Razorbacks tremendously.
- Outlook: According to 247Sports, Texas A&M is the favorite for Muhammad. However, that only makes sense if the Aggies are going to use the tight end more under new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. A handful of his other offers — Arkansas included — would make more sense. Muhammad estimates he has about 25 offers from FBS programs. He said he plans to consider them all before naming a top 10 at the end of his junior year.
J.J. Peterson, 4-star LB, Colquitt County High School (Moultrie, Ga.)
- Skinny: As a sophomore, Peterson played in 15 games and had 30 tackles with 3 sacks. He’ll play a larger role this season for last year’s undefeated Georgia Class 6A state champions. Three starting linebackers — including Arkansas freshman Dee Walker — graduated. The 6-2, 210-pound prospect is the No. 3 outside linebacker and No. 84 overall recruit in the class. He was considered one of the most impressive prospects at a Georgia camp this summer. Peterson showed great athleticism, according to DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell.
- Why Arkansas could land him: Assistant coach Rory Segrest, a Georgia native, has used his relationships to successfully recruit the Peach State. The Razorbacks signed Colquitt County defensive lineman T.J. Smith in 2015 and Walker in 2016. Peterson was offered by Arkansas in late January.
- Outlook: Arkansas will have to fend off Clemson, Florida, Georgia and others. That’s a tall task. Expect the Razorbacks to be in contention until the end thanks to the early interest shown and past success recruiting out of Colquitt County.
Kamryn Babb, 4-star WR, Christian Brothers College High School (St. Louis)
- Skinny: As a sophomore, Babb emerged as a playmaker in all three phases. He had 832 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns on 39 catches at wide receiver, 5 interceptions at defensive back and 2 punts returned for scores. The No. 11 wide receiver in the class, Babb possesses good quickness. He plays faster than his reported 4.53-second 40-yard dash time indicates.
- Why Arkansas could land him: The Razorbacks effectively have recruited out of Christian Brothers. They signed redshirt sophomores Armon Watts (DL) and Brian Wallace (OL) in the 2014 class. That connection could pay dividends in their pursuit of Babb, who was offered by Arkansas in June.
- Outlook: Babb reportedly has Ohio State and Michigan State as his early favorites just a few weeks after receiving his offer from Arkansas. It’s essential that the Razorbacks receive a visit from Babb soon. He has offers from 11 Power 5 conference schools.
Nathan Page, 4-star WR/DB, Joe T. Robinson High School (Little Rock, Ark.)
- Skinny: In his junior season, Page is expected to be a playmaker on both sides of the ball. The No. 1 in-state prospect in the class, Page had just more than 1,300 all-purpose yards as a wide receiver and kick returner last season. He added 81 tackles and 6 interceptions as a defensive back. This summer, he’s become more polished, with better size (6-foot, 180 pounds) and speed (4.56-second 40-yard dash).
- Why Arkansas could land him: The pipeline from Robinson to Arkansas already is developing. 2016 running back T.J. Hammonds is on campus, and 2017 wide receiver Koilan Jackson has committed. Page is next in line. Assistant coach Barry Lunney Jr. also has become an ace at keeping the top talent in the state from going elsewhere.
- Outlook: Though Page hasn’t received any major offers, that likely will change soon. Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M are showing interest. Arkansas is considered the favorite now.
Corione Harris, 4-star CB, Landry-Walker High School (New Orleans)
- Skinny: Harris, the No. 6 Louisiana prospect and No. 20 cornerback nationally in 2018, is a ballhawk. He has a rare combination of speed and physicality. He has offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
- Why Arkansas could land him: The one-time LSU commit decommitted from the Tigers in early July. He cited academics and the desire to become a better person in college as reasons for reopening his recruitment. Arkansas assistants Michael Smith and Paul Rhoads, his primary recruiters, can use that to their advantage.
- Outlook: LSU remains the favorite to sign Harris. But Smith’s ability to land a prospect from The Boot shouldn’t be underestimated. The Razorbacks will continue to make a strong push.
Diamond Hogs add another to 2018 class
Arkansas bolstered its 2018 baseball class during the weekend with the commitment of left-handed pitcher Jacob Sweeney.
The top prospect in Indiana for the class, Sweeney attends Andrean High School (Merrillville, Ind.).
Sweeney is 6-6 and 220 pounds. His fastball is topping out at 90 mph, according to his Perfect Game profile.
The Razorbacks have 14 commits in the class, including eight pitchers.
— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) August 13, 2016
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.