Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. This time, we discuss the latest with linebacker Thomas Johnston, defensive tackle Malik Young and the arrival of Arkansas’ early enrollees.
Johnston left Arkansas visit thinking it was place for him
The recruitment of Thomas Johnston continues to evolve with programs such as Arkansas, Auburn, Iowa and Ole Miss still in contention.
Johnston (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) learned the latest twist in his recruiting experience last weekend on an official visit to Auburn. That’s when Tigers coach Gus Malzahn asked the 3-star recruit to commit to play offense as an H-back.
Every other program is recruiting Johnston at linebacker, a position in which he set Alabama’s all-time record for career tackles with 675 while playing for Spanish Fort High School. It’s also the position Arkansas’ coaching staff can envision him playing for the Razorbacks. That was apparently close to becoming a reality, at least verbally, when he officially visited Fayetteville last October.
“Right after I left (Arkansas), I said, ‘This is the school for me,’” Johnston recently told SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk. “But a couple days later, I was like, ‘Hold up now, I’ve got these other schools I want to check out.'”
Those other schools also included an official visit to Iowa in December. He plans to take his fourth official visit to Ole Miss this weekend and says Jan. 26 is the date he plans to announce his decision.
Arkansas already has three linebackers committed among its 21 combined commits and signees in the class. However, the Hogs are still expected to bring in Johnston as a fourth linebacker if he decides they’re the right choice for him.
DL target Young gets visit from Florida coach
Arkansas has some new SEC competition in its pursuit of 2017 junior college defensive tackle Malik Young.
Young (6-3, 285) was visited by Hogs coach Bret Bielema last week when the current contact period began. Most recently, the 3-star recruit from Eastern Arizona College received a visit from Florida coach Jim McElwain on Monday. The Gators were not previously among his 15 reported offers.
Originally from Marietta, Ga., Young was named a first-team NJCAA All-American this past season. He was also named the Western States Football League Defensive Player of the Year.
The Hogs are certainly looking to add at least one more defensive lineman in this class. Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) 3-star end Troy James is the only current commit in the position group.
— Malik Young (@Young4Malik) January 16, 2017
Early enrollees arrive
All of Arkansas’ 10 early enrollees have arrived on campus and are set to begin classes Tuesday. The list includes seven high school players and three junior college transfers. All but two are expected to play offense and three are offensive linemen.
Here’s the full list of early enrollees:
- Kirby Adcock, 3-star OL
- Shane Clenin, 3-star OL
- Kyrei Fisher, 3-star LB
- Korey Hernandez, 3-star CB
- Daulton Hyatt, 3-star QB
- Brandon Martin, 4-star WR
- Jonathan Nance, 3-star WR
- Jeremy Patton, 4-star TE
- Dalton Wagner, 3-star OL
- Maleek Williams, 3-star RB
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