Join us here at SEC Country for the “Trent’s Trough” notebook as Arkansas Razorbacks beat writer Trent Shadid provides the latest insight on all Hogs recruiting news.
This edition of Trent’s Trough is taking on a “Throwback Thursday” theme for a look at past moments in Razorback recruiting.
Revisiting the recruitment of Koch and Thielemann
Greg Koch and R.C. Thielemann are among the most accomplished offensive linemen to ever play at Arkansas.
The pair became a package deal for the Razorbacks out of Spring Woods High School (Houston, Texas) in the 1973 recruiting class. Texas had made a habit of signing offensive linemen from Spring Woods in the early 1970s, but Koch and Thielemann came together and decided they needed a change of scenery.
“(Thielemann) was originally going to go to Nebraska and I was going to go to Baylor,” Koch said. “And then Baylor had a crazy coach named Pat Culpepper and R.C. decided Nebraska was too far away. I didn’t like (Nebraska) when we visited there anyway.”
The two eventually became sold on Arkansas because of Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs, who was an assistant for the Hogs at the time.
“(Arkansas) was our very first visit we took,” Koch said. “Back then, we were gone every weekend. It wasn’t any of this five (official) visits. We were recruited by 40 schools and I bet we took 20 visits. It was the first school we went to and it was in December and it was cold and rainy, so you couldn’t really see how pretty it was. But we just kept thinking about it and we decided we really liked coach Gibbs and coach (Frank) Broyles and we liked being up in the hills.”
The decision to pursue something different worked out for Koch and Thielemann. They were drafted two spots apart in the second round of the 1977 NFL draft. They’ve also been inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame — Thielemann in 2009 and Koch in 2016.
Texas A&M OL Eluemunor was once committed to the Hogs
Back in 2013, Texas A&M’s Jermaine Eluemunor was the top-rated junior college offensive tackle from Lackawanna Community College (Scranton, Pa.) and committed to Arkansas.
The 4-star recruit flipped his pledge from the Razorbacks to Texas A&M in October of 2013 and eventually signed with the Aggies’ 2014 class.
Shortly after announcing his flipped commitment, Eluemunor took to Twitter and advised other recruits not to consider Arkansas.
“Arkansas fans move on damn! I would not recommend anyone going there after the tweets I have received from mad fans smh death wishes really?” — Jermaine Eluemunor (@TheMainShow_)
Eluemunor redshirted in 2014, played in all 13 games with one start in 2015 and started the first three games of this season at right tackle.
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M 2016 recruiting scoreboard
Continuing to look at past recruiting battles between Arkansas and Texas A&M, here’s a glance at the competition between the two schools in the 2016 class.
By the numbers
- 0: 5-star prospects signed by Texas A&M.
- 1: 5-star prospects signed by Arkansas.
- 3: Arkansas signees with an offer from Texas A&M.
- 5: Texas A&M signees with an offer from Arkansas.
- 5: 4-star prospects signed by Arkansas.
- 8: 4-star prospects signed by Texas A&M.
- 18: The final class ranking for Texas A&M.
- 23: The final class ranking for Arkansas.
Most competitive signings
- 5-star DL McTelvin Agim (Ark): One of the top prospects in the country, Agim had Texas A&M among his final four schools before selecting Arkansas.
- 4-star OL Kellen Diesch (A&M): Eluemunor wasn’t the only recent Arkansas offensive line commit to eventually flip and sign with Texas A&M; Diesch did the same in the 2016 class.
- 4-star RB Devwah Whaley (Ark): The top-rated running back in Texas was a huge get for the Hogs, but the Aggies made a strong push as one of Whaley’s final five schools.
- 3-star LB Tyrel Dodson (A&M): He spoke highly of Arkansas just before receiving an offer in the summer of 2015. He then committed to Texas A&M four days later.
- 3-star RB Rakeem Boyd (A&M): He was high on the Razorbacks at one point, but they waited to offer until he’d had already committed to the Aggies, and he didn’t waiver.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.