The state of Arkansas will have a healthy list of football players signing with Division I programs in the 2018 class. With that in mind, SEC Country will be ranking the Natural State’s top 25 recruits for the class.
These rankings will be released once a month throughout the football season. The list is based on evaluation by SEC Country reporters, offers, stats and ratings from the main recruiting outlets (247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout).
Here are SEC Country’s top 25 prospects in Arkansas for 2018:
(Note: Star ratings are from the 247Sports composite or Rivals. If 247Sports did not have a rating for a player, Rivals was used. Those with an * are from Rivals.)
25. 2-star* LB Hunter Swoboda (6-foot-4, 220), uncommitted
Swoboda transferred from Joe T. Robinson in Little Rock to Bentonville West (Centerton) last summer. He played tight end and linebacker at Robinson, gaining offers from Air Force, Army and others in the process. A broken leg suffered at a camp this summer set him back, but he’s since retuned to action and has been a key contributor for Bentonville West.
24. T Will Burgess (6-4, 340), uncommitted
Burgess broke his foot this summer just as he was on the verge of potentially gaining his first FBS offer. Arkansas and Memphis have previously shown strong interest in the tackle from Lake Hamilton in Pearcy. For now, his scholarship options include FCS and Division II programs.
23. 3-star QB Layne Hatcher (6-2, 200 pounds), uncommitted
Hatcher has passed for more than 13,000 yards and 160 touchdowns in his career as a three-year starter at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock. He has offers from Arkansas State, Eastern Illinois and Murray State.
22. 2-star* WR Trajen Johnson (6-2, 190), uncommitted
Johnson is an impressive athlete in both football and basketball at Pulaski Academy. He may be even better in the classroom, scoring a 30 on the ACT. With that combination of talents he’s garnered offers from all three service academies and six of the eight Ivy League schools.
21. 2-star WR Demetrice Holliday (6-3, 200), Arkansas State
Holliday is a two-way standout defensive back and wide receiver for Batesville. He pledged to the Red Wolves on April 1, picking them over Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Tech.
20. 3-star G Biron Rossell (6-4, 265), Louisiana Tech
Rossell had only a handful of FCS and Division II offers until the Louisiana Tech coaching staff saw him at a camp over the summer. The Bulldogs offered the West Memphis Christian product on the spot and he committed two weeks later, following a visit to the campus.
19. 3-star* DT Alejandro Ramirez (6-2, 295), uncommitted
At the FBS level, Ramirez holds offers from Arkansas State, Army and Navy. He’s also received interest from Arkansas, Memphis and Missouri. Ramirez is a talented all-around athlete at Har-Ber, where he also is a standout on the wrestling team.
18. 3-star* DT Dayonte Roberts (6-2, 280), uncommitted
Roberts is a popular target for Sun Belt schools, receiving offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe and Texas State. A standout defensive tackle at Cabot, he could player either tackle in a 4-3 defense or anchor a 3-4 scheme at nose guard.
17. 3-star* TE Adam Shepherd (6-4, 225), uncommitted
Shepherd has enough size and athleticism to play tight end at the FBS level. He caught 36 passes for 600 yards and 9 touchdowns while playing tight end and wide receiver at Little Rock Christian as a junior. Harvard, Louisiana-Monroe, Princeton and Yale are among his offers with Arkansas and Mississippi State having shown interest.
16. 2-star DT Terry Hampton (6-2, 265), Arkansas State
Hampton is in his fourth season as a starter at defensive tackle for El Dorado. That’s the position he’ll play at Arkansas State, where he committed in May and expects to sign in December. He chose the Red Wolves over Louisiana-Monroe.
15. 2-star RB Detravion Green (6-0, 174), Arkansas State
Green is the feature back for an Ashdown team loaded with talent entering the 2017 season. He’s rushed for 921 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 8.7 yards per carry through 8 games this season. He committed to Arkansas State in late July over Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Tech.
14. 3-star G Jake Hardage (6-6, 326), uncommitted
Hardage, from Pocahontas, projects to play guard in college and already has the size to do so. He holds an offer from Mississippi State. Fellow SEC schools Arkansas, Auburn and Ole Miss have also previously shown some interest.
13. 3-star LB Oliver Nasilai (6-1, 244), BYU
Nasilai pledged to BYU over Oklahoma State in June. He attended camps at BYU for several years and has built a close connection to the school, which his family holds in high regard. He had 61 tackles with 14 for losses in 11 games at Har-Ber as a junior and has played this season at Jessieville.
12. 3-star T Jax Gasaway (6-7, 275), uncommitted
Gasaway was presented with a preferred walk-on opportunity by Arkansas in June. The Star City native holds scholarship opportunities from Air Force, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Texas State, Tulane and others. With his height, he has the potential to add some weight to his frame and at least physically become an ideal FBS tackle.
11. 3-star DT Billy Ferrell (6-3, 331), uncommitted
Ferrell is a prototypical defensive tackle who has enough athleticism to also be used at tight end for Fordyce. His offer list includes Arkansas State, Colorado State, Memphis and UMass.
10. 3-star* T Larry Clark (6-4, 295), uncommitted
Clark is a dominant tackle in a run-heavy offense at Blytheville. He holds a pair of Power 5 offers from Iowa State and Kansas, with Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Tennessee among interested schools.
9. 3-star QB Jaden Hill (6-4, 220), LSU (baseball)
Hill sees his future on the pitcher’s mound rather than at quarterback. The right-hander committed to pitch at LSU last December and won’t waver on that commitment unless something unforeseen happens. That hasn’t stopped football programs from extending offers. The dual-threat talent from Ashdown holds six FBS football offers, including Illinois and Missouri. He’s even spoken with LSU coach Ed Orgeron about the possibility of also playing quarterback for the Tigers.
8. 3-star T Noah Gatlin (6-7, 300), Arkansas
Gatlin began the summer with offers from Arizona State, Indiana, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Texas Tech and several others. But he remained persistent on earning the one he wanted most — Arkansas. He did just that at the Trench Hogs camp in June, impressing the Razorbacks’ staff enough to earn an offer before he even left campus. He committed three days later. Gatlin fits the profile of a future tackle in college, his primary high school position at Jonesboro.
7. 3-star ATH Nathan Page (6-0, 180), uncommitted
Wherever Page plays — defensive back, wide receiver or return man — for Joe T. Robinson, he makes an impact. Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Tech are his FBS offers to this point. However, several Power 5 programs have long been interested — a list that includes Arkansas, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas A&M.
6. 3-star DE Isaiah Nichols (6-4, 275), Arkansas
Nichols is an underdeveloped prospect with a ton of upside. His first season of football came as a sophomore at Springdale High after moving to Northwest Arkansas from Little Rock. The process of learning the game on the fly hasn’t stopped him from turning heads, though. Nichols’ film from his junior season and performance at camps landed him offers from such programs as Arkansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, Mississippi State and Missouri. He committed to the Razorbacks in mid-June.
5. 3-star CB LaDarrius Bishop (6-0, 205), Mississippi State
If this list were sorted by speed, Bishop would be at the top. The cornerback from Ashdown was clocked running a 4.35-second 40-yard dash during a camp at Mississippi State last summer. That display put him at the top of the Bulldogs’ priority list in the defensive backfield. Those efforts paid off as he committed to Mississippi State on July 15 over Arkansas and Oklahoma State. Baylor, Illinois, Iowa State and Purdue are also among his offers.
4. 3-star ATH Sean Michael Flanagan (6-2, 195), Arkansas
Flanagan is talented enough to play either safety or wide receiver at a Power 5 program. In 14 games at Charleston as a junior, he had 65 catches for 1,121 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also had 4 interceptions and returned 5 punts for touchdowns. Flanagan holds offers from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma State, and committed to the Razorbacks in June. He’s projected to play safety next year in Fayetteville.
3. 3-star OL Luke Jones (6-6, 290), Arkansas
Jones is the best in an impressive group of Natural State offensive linemen. From Pulaski Academy, he has all the tools to potentially play guard or tackle at the next level. Arkansas extended an offer to him at the Trench Hogs camp, the same day Gatlin and Nichols were also offered. He officially announced his commitment five weeks later. The Razorbacks beat out offers from Arizona State, Iowa State, Missouri, Oregon and Virginia.
2. 4-star QB Gerry Bohanon Jr. (6-4, 213), uncommitted
Interest in Bohanon skyrocketed once film from his junior season at tiny Earle started making the rounds last winter. His first major offer came from Alabama. The Crimson Tide were soon followed by Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Georgia, Louisville, LSU and several others. Many schools, such as Alabama, extended an offer without even specifying a set position. His combination of talent and size is appealing enough that a lot of schools would take him as a linebacker or quarterback. But his desired position (by far) is quarterback, so he’ll be signing to play behind center.
1. 4-star QB Connor Noland (6-3, 205); Arkansas
Noland has thrown for 1,694 yards with 20 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions through eight games this season. He’s shown drastic improvement in his development from a season. He committed to Arkansas in July of 2016, a pledge he has remained firm to ever since. As a result, his full offer list isn’t as extensive as it would be had he remained uncommitted longer. A number of major programs — such as Florida, Florida State, Penn State, Texas A&M and UCLA — have either offered or would have if not for his strong pledge to Arkansas.