FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Dan Enos’ connections in Michigan may soon be paying dividends for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks’ second-year offensive coordinator helped lure a pair of Michigan cousins — Class of 2017 4-star defensive back prospects Ambry Thomas and Jaylen Kelly-Powell from Detroit — to visit Arkansas this week during the program’s high school camp.
Enos spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan State and five as the head coach at Central Michigan before coming to Arkansas.
“Coach Enos has been hitting us up, he came to our schools and has been asking when we’re going to come down,” Kelly-Powell said. “We found the time now in the middle of the summer, so we thought we might as well get down here.”
While Thomas (Detroit Martin Luther King) and Kelly-Powell (Cass Technical) attend rival high schools, they say they’re planning on attending college together.
“It’s a long story, a very long story,” said Kelly-Powell of how he and Thomas ended up at a rival school. “He was supposed to come to (Cass Technical), but he didn’t end up there. Now we go against each other every year. Every time we’ve played, I’m always checking him and he’s always checking me. We have a lot of fun with it.
“But now, we’re trying to go to college together.”
According to 247Sports, Michigan and Michigan State are the favorites to land Thomas and/or Kelly-Powell. But on Sunday, Thomas said the pair isn’t ruling out the possibility of committing to a school in the SEC.
“The SEC, that’s where the best come from,” Thomas said. “That’s the top dogs.”
Thomas holds scholarship offers from 34 Power Five conference schools, including nine in the SEC. Kelly-Powell has offers from 35 Power Five schools and seven in the SEC. Their offers are according to 247Sports.
Thomas, known for his speed, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds at the camp on Sunday. Primarily recruited as a cornerback, he could play either defensive back or wide receiver if he chooses Arkansas.
“Arkansas actually offered me as a receiver first,” Thomas said. “But they came back and said they also liked me a lot as a (defensive back), so they just said it’s my decision.”
Kelly-Powell, who is being recruited as a safety, said he was blown away by his visit to Arkansas.
“I did not expect anything like this,” Kelly-Powell said. “Everyone told me it’s just hills. I’m thinking it’s going to be like West Virginia or something. I got here and saw the facilities and everything and thought, ‘Oh, OK. This is great.’ ”