Join us daily at SEC Country for “Trent’s Trough” as Arkansas beat writer Trent Shadid provides the latest recruiting news.
Return of talented juniors gives recruiting class a boost
With standout center Frank Ragnow coming back for his senior season in 2017, Arkansas can consider its offensive line recruiting class settled.
Well, sure, if the right offensive lineman shows serious interest, the Hogs will undoubtedly take a look. But they don’t have to. Three high school commits — 3-star recruits Kirby Adcock, Shane Clenin and Dalton Wagner — have already signed financial aid agreements and practiced with the team. A fourth offensive line recruit — 3-star prospect Audry Horn — is set to join the program as a preferred walk-on.
All of those players will be given an opportunity to prove their worth but don’t have to be rushed into immediate playing time with four starting offensive linemen returning. While it’s nice to have them in the program a semester early, it’s also a relief to ease them into playing time.
The same can be said at wide receiver, where Arkansas has six committed or signed recruits in the class. Standout slot receiver Jared Cornelius recently announced he’s returning for his senior season. With Cornelius back, Arkansas can bring along the young wide receivers with the same patience as the offensive linemen.
Brandon Martin, a 4-star receiver signee from Mississippi Gulf Coast, and junior college teammate and fellow signee Jonathan Nance could create immediate stability around Cornelius next season. In addition to them, Deon Stewart and La’Michael Pettway are primed for opportunities at playing time. Furthermore, Jordan Jones has made a significant impression on the coaching staff and will almost certainly see the field next season.
With those six players potentially providing stability at receiver, the Razorbacks can dedicate a year of development to what should be considered an exceptional 2017 class at receiver.
2017 class snapshot
Arkansas is working to complete its 2017 class with less than two months remaining until National Signing Day. The Hogs currently have 21 combined commits and signees. They are expected to sign 23 to 25 total.
Where the class ranks
The Razorbacks are No. 22 nationally and No. 10 in the SEC in the latest class rankings. The Hogs have four 4-star and 17 3-star commits and signees. The class has fluctuated between 15 to 30 in the rankings since last summer when Arkansas gained the majority of its commits.
Arkansas’ most-recent addition to the 2017 class comes from outside linebacker Kyrei Fisher.
A 3-star recruit out of Tulsa (Okla.) Union High School, Fisher gives the Hogs three linebacker commits in the class. He is a prefect fit for the expected shift to the 3-4 defense. He was previously committed to Minnesota and chose Arkansas over the Golden Gophers and Michigan State.
Fisher signed a financial aid agreement with the Razorbacks on Monday. He is expected to enroll in January.
Arkansas missed out on Dillard High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 3-star defensive end Jordan Wright earlier this week. Wright (6-5, 225) recently announced his commitment to Kentucky. He officially visited Arkansas earlier this month and had been a high-priority target for the Hogs.
- 4-star TE Jeremy Patton: Arkansas beat out SEC West rivals Alabama and Auburn for his commitment, and held off a late charge from Southern Cal. Officially signing Patton, the No. 1 junior college tight end in the class, last week was a significant relief for the Hogs.
- 4-star WR Brandon Martin: Equally as big of a signing as Patton, Martin has a great chance to compete for immediate playing time. He is the No. 2 junior college wide receiver in the class and has exceptional size and speed.
- 3-star WR Jonathan Nance: A teammate of Martin at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Nance brings sure hands and high character to the program. He left Southern Mississippi in 2015, hoping to land in the SEC, which paid off when he signed last week.
Here’s a look at Arkansas’ top committed recruits:
- 4-star S Montaric Brown: The top in-state prospect from Ashdown (Ark.) High School already has deep connections within the program. The Hogs beat out Alabama, Auburn, LSU and others to land him.
- 4-star RB Chase Hayden: Hayden is a supremely talented athlete with exceptional versatility. He chose Arkansas over offers from Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and several other programs.
- 3-star QB Daulton Hyatt: He is one of five high school recruits to have signed a financial aid agreement with Arkansas. Hyatt has graduated from high school and plans to enroll at the midterm. He possesses a strong arm and has tons of potential for growth.
Top uncommitted targets
Here’s a look at Arkansas’ top uncommitted targets:
- 4-star CB Chevin Calloway, Bishop Dunne High School (Dallas): One of the top cornerback prospects in the class, Calloway received two in-home visits from Arkansas during the recent contact period.
- 3-star LB Thomas Johnston, Spanish Fort (Ala.) High School: The Hogs are in heated competition with Auburn, Iowa, LSU and others to land Johnston. Defensive line coach Rory Segrest made an in-home visit to Johnston during the contact period.
- 3-star safety Kamren Curl, Muskogee (Okla.) High School: Curl has become an intriguing target for many major programs in recent months. He’s picked up offers from Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and TCU since November.
Here’s a breakdown of the number of commits and signees by position and how many total are projected to be signed at each position:
- QB: 1/1 (Daulton Hyatt)
- RB: 2/2 (Chase Hayden, Maleek Williams)
- TE: 1/1 (Jeremy Patton)
- WR: 6/6 (Maleek Barkley, Jarrod Barnes, Koilan Jackson, Brandon Martin, Jonathan Nance, De’Vion Warren)
- OL: 3/3 (Kirby Adcock, Shane Clenin, Dalton Wagner)
- DL: 1/2 (Troy James)
- LB: 3/3 (Kyrei Fisher, Derrick Munson, Josh Paul)
- CB: 3/4 (Jordon Curtis, Korey Hernandez, Jarques McClellion)
- S: 1/2 (Montaric Brown)
Here’s a breakdown of Arkansas’ commits and signees by state:
- Arkansas: 4 (Adcock, Barnes, Brown, Jackson)
- Louisiana: 4 (James, Munson, Paul, Warren)
- Florida: 2 (McClellion, Williams)
- Mississippi: 2 (Martin, Nance)
- Oklahoma: 2 (Curtis, Fisher)
- Texas: 1 (Barkley)
- Alabama: 1 (Hyatt)
- Arizona: 1 (Patton)
- Georgia: 1 (Hernandez)
- Illinois: 1 (Wagner)
- Missouri: 1 (Clenin)
- Tennessee: 1 (Hayden)
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.