Join us daily at SEC Country for “Trent’s Trough” as Arkansas beat writer Trent Shadid provides the latest recruiting news.
Arkansas zeroing in on finishing class
As the 2016 regular season draws to a close, Arkansas’ coaching staff is starting to formulate a plan for completing the 2017 recruiting class.
The Hogs currently have 20 commitments in the class. They’re aiming to sign 23 to 25 total but will remain locked in on securing the current commits until National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
“We recruit our guys that are committed just as hard as we do a guy that we’re trying to get to commit,” tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. said earlier this week.
“You have to in this day and age. That’s really the only way to do it and that’s the way we do it. Having 20 commitments or whatever doesn’t really change that.”
What the 20 commitments does do is allow the coaching to staff to mostly plan exactly where its headed in December and January. The coaches can start with the 20 commits, then hone in on the three to five other spots left to fill.
“It maybe probably helps you dial in more specifically on exactly what you’re going to do instead of chasing a lot of ghosts or rabbits this time of year,” Lunney said. “You know exactly where you’re going.”
Arkansas baseball signs 19
Arkansas baseball signed 19 recruits for the 2018 season this week. The class includes eight pitchers, five infielders, four outfielders and two catchers.
“This class is a little larger than we were expecting,” said coach Dave Van Horn in a press release. “It’s a good-sized class that’s really talented. It’s a little heavier on the position players. We knew that was a need of ours going forward, but on the pitching side, we added a few late that bolstered the list really well. We do feel like the pitchers we have signed are guys that have a chance to come in and contribute right away.”
Here’s the list of signees:
- Dakota Bennett, LHP, 6-3, 170, R/L, Albert Brewer High School (Eva, Ala.)
- Dylan Bonds, LHP, 5-10, 170, L/L, Mt. Juliet (Tenn.) High School
- Bryce Bonnin, SS, 6-0, 180, R/R, Barbers Hill High School (Baytown, Texas)
- Evan Hooper, OF, 6-0, 187, R/R, Cabot (Ark.) High School
- Austin Kelly, RHP, 6-2, 185, R/R, Bryant High School (Benton, Ark.)
- Heston Kjerstad, SS, 6-3, 180, S/R, Randall High School (Amarillo, Texas)
- Casey Martin, SS, 5-11, 165, R/R, Lonoke (Ark.) High School
- Benjamin McClain, OF, 5-11, 185, L/L, West High School (Lee’s Summit, Mo.)
- Hunter Milligan, LHP, 6-4, 215, L/L, Greenbrier (Ark.) High School
- Easton Murrell, SS, 6-0, 195, S/R, Prosper (Texas) High School
- Jacob Nesbit, SS, 6-0, 170, R/R, Coppell (Texas) High School
- Casey Opitz, C, 5-11, 170, S/R, Heritage High School (Centennial, Colo.)
- Kole Ramage, RHP, 6-0, 180, R/R, Southlake (Texas) Carroll High School
- Jackson Rutledge, RHP, 6-8, 240, R/R, Rockwood Summit High School (St. Louis)
- Canaan Smith, C, 6-0, 210, L/R, Rockwall (Texas) Heath High School
- Alerick Soularie, OF, 6-0, 165, R/R, Atascocita Hight School (Humble, Texas)
- Daniel Tillo, LHP, 6-4, 215, L/L, Iowa Western C.C. (Sioux City, Iowa)
- Cole Turney, OF, 6-1, 200, L/L, Fort Bend Travis High School (Richmond, Texas)
- Zebulon Vermillion, RHP, 6-5, 175, Shawnee Mission East High School (Prairie Village, Kan.)
2017 recruiting class snapshot
During the month of November, Trent’s Trough will provide a weekly glance at the Razorbacks’ 2017 recruiting class. Be sure to check each Friday to catch up on all the latest with the class.
Where the class ranks
The Razorbacks are No. 23 nationally and No. 10 in the SEC with 20 commits in the 2017 class. The Hogs have two 4-star and 18 3-star commits. The class has fluctuated between 15-30 in the rankings since last summer when Arkansas gained the majority of its commits.
Here’s a look at Arkansas’ top committed recruits:
- 4-star TE Jeremy Patton: Arkansas beat out Alabama, Auburn and others to land the commitment of the top junior college tight end.
- 4-star S Montaric Brown: The top in-state prospect from Ashdown (Ark.) High School already has deep connections within the program and appears content with his decision.
- 3-star RB Chase Hayden: Recently elevated to a 4-star recruit, Hayden is a supremely talented athlete with exceptional versatility.
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, he recently de-committed from Iowa and holds the Hogs in high regard.
- 4-star DE Micheal Clemons, Cisco (Texas) College: The Hogs have been all over Clemons the past few months as he’s vaulted up the recruiting rankings and is now considered a top-10 junior college prospect.
- 4-star OL Chuck Filaga, Aledo (Texas) High School: He has Arkansas among his top choices but has yet to narrow his list to fewer than 10 schools.
- 3-star DT Javier Edwards, Blinn (Texas) College: His commitment to Florida hasn’t stopped Arkansas from heavily pursuing the 325-pound junior college defensive tackle.
- 3-star LB Thomas Johnston, Spanish Fort (Ala.) High School: The Hogs are in heavy competition with Auburn, Iowa, LSU and others to land Johnston, who took an official visit to Fayetteville last month. He recently set Alabama’s career tackles record.
The latest news
The Hogs picked up a commitment from 3-star defensive end Troy James earlier this week. James (6-3, 280) is a 3-star recruit from Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) and gives Arkansas 20 commits in the 2017 class. He is also the fourth commit from Louisiana and second defensive lineman.
The other defensive line commit, Katy (Texas) High School 3-star talent Ryder Anderson, recently received an offer from Ole Miss. Anderson (6-7, 230) now has 15 offers and has been committed to Arkansas since June.
Here’s a breakdown of the number of commits by position and how many total are likely projected to be signed at each position:
- QB: 1/1
- RB: 2/2
- TE: 1/1
- WR: 5/5
- OL: 3/5
- DL: 2/3
- LB: 2/3
- CB: 3/4
- S: 1/1
Here’s a breakdown of Arkansas’ commits by state:
- Arkansas: 4
- Louisiana: 4
- Florida: 2
- Texas: 2
- Alabama: 1
- Arizona: 1
- Georgia: 1
- Illinois: 1
- Mississippi: 1
- Missouri: 1
- Oklahoma: 1
- Tennessee: 1
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.