Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn previews the ...
UA's 2010 recruiting class bios, quotables
Bobby Petrino hauled in his third recruiting class as Arkansas' coach on Wednesday, and discussed each recruit at length during a press conference in the afternoon. Bio information for each of Arkansas' 25 signees and Petrino's take on each signee are below, courtesy Arkansas media relations.
Note: Classification listed as of fall 2010
DT – FR – 6-3 – 330 – Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington HS)
Barnett, who is considered one of the best defensive tackles in the nation, played at Booker T. Washington and was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Game. He was named a first-team 5A All-State honoree in 2009. As a senior, he faced double and triple teams and he had 33 tackles and four sacks. He is ranked as the top recruit in the state of Oklahoma by Rivals.com and the No. 13 defensive tackle in the nation. He is also the No. 13 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com. During his junior year, he had 72 tackles and helped his team defeat Carl Albert, 28-17, for the 5A state championship, which was the first title for Booker T. Washington High School in 24 years. In his appearance at the U.S. Army All-American game, Barnett was responsible for setting up one blocked kick and then blocking another. He also had two tackles, one unassisted and quarterback hurry. He was a high school teammate of Arkansas signee Eric Bennett and attended the same high school as UA offensive coordinator Garrick McGee. Barnett chose the Razorbacks over Oklahoma State, USC, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, UCLA, Oregon State and Texas Tech.
Petrino’s Take: “Calvin’s a defensive tackle, 6-foot-3, 330 pounds out of Tulsa. He’s a guy that we competed hard for and it came down to the last day. We’re very happy to have Calvin with us.”
ATH/RB – FR – 6-1 – 270 – Dallas, Texas (A. Maceo Smith HS)
Beachum began his high school career on the offensive line before his size, arm strength and 4.6 time in 40 prompted a move to quarterback. He also factored in on defense during his senior season and he drew interest nearly 20 schools who recruited him to play running back, quarterback, defensive tackle or tight end. Rivals.com listed him as the No. 44 athlete in the nation and the No. 64 recruit in Texas. He was selected as the No. 34 defensive tackle nationally by Scout.com. He earned district newcomer of the year honors following his sophomore seasons and despite missing four games during his junior campaign, he was named all-district. As a senior, he completed 38-of-72 passes for 539 yards and seven touchdowns. During the 2008 season, he was 36-of-81 for 535 yards and three touchdowns. He had 72 carries for 246 yards and four touchdowns and collected 13 tackles. In 2007, he was 60-of-138 for 960 yards and three touchdowns as a quarterback. He also carried the ball 118 times for 369 yards and four touchdowns and recorded 12 tackles. He was coached at A. Maceo Smith High School by Elzie Barnett. Beachum was also recruited by Florida, Oklahoma, Miami, Nebraska, Florida State, Tennessee, Kansas and Utah. His mother (Treophia Flowers) is a graduate of Little Rock Central HS.
Petrino’s Take: “He wants to start off at running back and we see him as a running back. He might grow out of that, though. If he does, he could either play linebacker, defensive end, or even an h-back, tight end position for us. He’s an unbelievable athlete for the size that he is. When we first put the video on him, he reminded me a lot of a guy I coached at Louisville by the name of Michael Bush.”
ATH – FR – 5-11 –180 – Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington HS)
One of the top rated players in the state of Oklahoma, Bennett is a versatile athlete who played quarterback, running back receiver and corner at Booker T. Washington High School. He was chosen as the No. 37 cornerback in the nation by Scout.com and the No. 49 athlete nationally by Rivals.com. He was also the No. 10 ranked prospect in Oklahoma by Rivals.com. He was named a 2009 first-team Oklahoma 5A All-State honoree as an all-purpose player. He played in only seven games as a senior due to a shoulder injury and completed 54-of-96 passes for 873 yards and nine touchdowns. He also carried the ball 100 times for 581 yards and five touchdowns. He had one of his top performances of the season in the top-ranked Hornets 27-6 victory over No. 2 Carl Albert on Sept. 4. Against the Titans, he carried the ball 11 times for 185 yards, including a season-long 67-yard run, and he threw for a touchdown. Against Broken Arrow on Sept. 18, he had 22 runs for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed 15-of-25 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown. As a junior, he led the Hornets to a 13-1 record and the class 5A state championships while passing and rushing for more than 1,000 yards and scoring 27 touchdowns. On defense, he had 11 tackles and one interception. He also ran track and clocked a 10.7 second time in the 100 meters. He was recruited by Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oregon State and Texas Tech. Bennett attended the same high school as UA offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee.
Petrino’s Take: “He’s a very athletic kid. He’s a true winner; he has a state championship under his belt. He was a great leader on that team. For us, he’s either going to play cornerback or wide receiver.”
DE – FR – 6-4 –288 – Monroe, La. (Richwood HS)
As a senior at Richwood High School under coach Warren Trimble, he really got started the second half of his season and continued to play strong from that point on. He is listed as the No. 36 prospect in the state of Louisiana by Rivals.com. Scout.com ranked him the No. 87 defensive end in the nation. In 2009, he recorded 51 stops, nine sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, and two forced fumbles. As a junior, he recorded 58 tackles and eight sacks. Brown finished up his high school career by playing in the Max Emfinger All-Star game in Austin, Texas. He was ranked as the No. 90 defensive end in the country by Scout.com. He can bench 345-pounds, squat 445 and claims a 36-inch vertical jump. He was also recruited by Mississippi State, TCU, Alabama, LSU and Louisiana Tech.
Petrino’s Take: “This kid just keeps getting bigger. When we started recruiting him he was about 260 pounds but he’s gotten much bigger. We pulled up to his house the other day and he was lifting weights out in front of his driveway. He’s a big man who can really move.”
K – FR – 5-8 –160 – Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill HS)
Camara is known as being one of the top kickers in the state of Texas, helping Cedar Hill High School to a 12-1 record in 2009, in which he earned honorable mention 5A all-state honors. He is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 14 kicker in the 2010 recruiting class and No. 19 by Scout.com. He was injured in the second game of the season, but returned to put up strong numbers. As a senior, he scored 95 points via 50 PATs and 15 FGs. Five of his field goals were from 40-or-more yards, including a long of 49. He also averaged 38.8 yards per punt and had 17 touchbacks on kickoffs. He finished the season with five kickoffs and four touchbacks. During his junior season he totaled 14 field goals and 54 PATs for a total of 96 points. Camara averaged 33.24 yard per punt with a long of 49 and three punts inside the twenty. He played at Cedar Hill High School for coach Joey McGuire. He was also recruited by Baylor, North Texas, Texas- El Paso and Texas.
Petrino’s Take: “He’s a left-footed kicker that we’re really excited about. We had him in camp and he did an excellent job. He’s very accurate, gets the ball up in the air, and can get it away quickly. We feel like we got a very, very good kicker.”
S – FR – 6-2 –195 – Gainesville, Ga. (Gainesville HS)
Carr’s high school teams combined to go 56-2 in his career and he was a member of two state championship teams and two runner-up squads. After playing at Buford High School for three years, he transferred to Gainesville High School for his senior season where he played for coach Bruce Miller. During his senior campaign, the Red Elephants went 13-1 and played for the state championship. As a senior, he had 104 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. He had a season-high 13 tackles against North Hall on Sept. 18. He was selected to play in the Max Emfinger All-Star game in Dallas, and also GACA’s North-South All-Star Game. As a junior, he had 73 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, four fumble recoveries and three interceptions. He chose Arkansas over Stanford, UCLA, Ole Miss, Duke, South Carolina, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
Petrino’s Take: “He was committed to Stanford so we know he’s a very good student. He’s a very quality young man. He plays free safety, is big and physical and can really run down hill and tackle. He also played receiver and made a lot of big plays catching the football. He’s the guy who also has the ability to grow into an outside linebacker or fall into that nickel position. We really like his size and quickness and ability to tackle.”
OT – FR – 6-4 – 315 – River Ridge, La. (John Curtis Christian)
Charpentier was a two-year starter at John Curtis Christian, a team that won the Class 2A state championship in 2008 and finished as the runner-up in 2009. He is rated No. 50 nationally as an offensive tackle and No. 12 among Louisiana seniors by Rivals.com. He is a member of The Times Picayune Preseason Top 20 Blue Chip List, is a two-time all-district honoree, earned all-metro honors from The Times Picayune as a junior in his first full season as a starter and then added all-state laurels from the Louisiana Football Coaches Association as a senior. Charpentier did not play as a sophomore while he gained athletic eligibility at John Curtis Christian following a transfer from South Lafourche midway through his freshman year. He was coached at John Curtis Christian by J.T. Curtis. He was successful in the classroom in Curtis’ honors curriculum. Charpentier can bench press 345 pounds, squat 585 pounds, power clean 275 pounds and has thrown the shot put 50 feet in track. He was also recruited by Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Southern Miss, SMU and Tulane.
Petrino’s Take: “He’s a very good offensive lineman. He’s played all three positions along that offensive front. We see him as either a guard or center for us. He’s real big, physical, strong and very athletic. The one thing that stands out when you watch him is his toughness.”
OG – FR – 6-4 –295 – Pilot Point, Texas (Pilot Point HS)
Feldt is heralded offensive lineman who was a 2A All-State selection by the Associated Press. He was also an All-Area Team honoree by The Dallas Morning News and the Denton Record Journal. Feldt is one of the highest rated commitments in Arkansas’ class by Rivals.com, which rates him as the No. 28 offensive tackle prospect in the country and he is listed at No. 35 by Scout.com. He was also selected to play in the 2010 Under Armour All-America game. He led his team to a state championship and a 15-0 record while registering 104 pancake blocks and not allowing a sack in 2009. In 2008, the squad posted a 12-2 mark and lost to the eventual state champions in the semifinals. As a junior, he was named to the All-State 2A second team and had 64 pancake blocks. He committed to Arkansas before his junior year after receiving a scholarship offer following his performance at an Arkansas camp. His high school head coach was his father, Blake Feldt. His father (Blake) played offensive line at Texas Tech. Alabama, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Iowa all showed interest during the recruiting process.
Petrino’s Take: “You know we’ve had Cam committed for a couple years now. We offered him right after camp when he was a sophomore. He’s been on our campus probably as much as any player that we recruited. Cam is a guy that just grinds and works extremely hard. He’s very talented. His dad is a football coach so he knows a lot about the game of football and understands offensive line play. Certainly, he would be one of those guys that would have the ability to come in and contribute right away.”
LB – FR – 6-5 –225 – Ft. Gibson, Okla. (Ft. Gibson HS)
Gaston was a second-team All-State selection by The Oklahoman as a senior at Ft. Gibson High School where he played for D.J. Howe. He is listed as the No. 40 outside linebacker nationally by Rivals.com and the No. 14 prospect in Oklahoma. Scout.com rated him at No. 65 nationally. He finished his senior year with 75 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, four forced fumbles, one recovered fumble, four pass deflections, and one pass breakup. On the offensive side of the ball he recorded 22 catches for 509 yards and five TDs. Gatson has 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash. He was ranked as the No. 13 outside linebacker in the state of Oklahoma by Rivals.com and the No. 58 outside linebacker in the nation by Scout.com. He was also listed as one of the top 20 overall prospects from the state of Oklahoma by Scout.com at the end of the 2009 prep season. Gatson also plays basketball and he averaged 14.8 points and 10.5 rebounds a game on the basketball court last season. He was also recruited by Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Tulsa.
Petrino’s Take: “He’s a big guy that can really run, with very, very strong hands, very strong arms. He’s a guy that has endless potential. I think he has the ability to read, run downhill, tackle and cover. That’s something we talked about a lot during recruiting is, we get longer at linebacker and taller at linebacker, your ability to cover is a lot better because quarterbacks don’t like to throw the ball when you have length and size in there. He’s a guy we think will be a very, very good football player for us, and we’re certainly happy to have him. He was also a rodeo guy. I don’t know if he won the state championship, but he is a very good rodeo guy.”
TE – FR – 6-4 –250 – Joplin, Mo. (Joplin Senior HS)
Hefley played at Riverton High School in Kansas before moving to Joplin Senior High in 2009 where he played for coach Doug Buckmaster. He played tight end, linebacker and defensive end during his high school career. He was ranked as the No. 85 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com and the No. 15 recruit in Missouri. Scout.com ranked him as the No. 25 middle linebacker in the nation. As a junior in 2008, he was named first-team All-State and All-Conference honors and was selected as the All-Area Defensive Player of the Year. He helped Riverton High School to an 11-1 record while tallying more than 140 tackles in the process. He also had 22 tackles for a loss and returned one interception for a touchdown. Offensively, he caught nine passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 10 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns. He holds a personal best in the 40-yard dash of 4.86 and has impressive strength with a 335-pound bench press and a 460-pound squat. He also played basketball and competed in the shot put and discus throw in track. Hefley was also recruited by Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Kansas.
Petrino’s Take: “He is a tight end/defensive end, he played both. When we actually started recruiting him he was a middle linebacker and a tight end, a very good football player. He’s gotten big. Again, we had Brad in camp. He spent a lot of time down here, he’s been to a lot of our meetings and he’s come to as many home games as he could. He’s just a guy I think that has endless potential.”
WR – FR – 6-1 –185 – Jacksonville, Fla. (The Bolles School)
A polished wide receiver, Herndon helped The Bolles School to the state championship in 2009 which was the tenth in school history. He is a disciplined route-runner who produced at a high level during his senior year despite nagging injuries. As a junior, he finished the season with 23 catches for 552 yards and nine touchdowns. He was coached in high school by Corky Rogers. He was recruited by USF, Cincinnati, Vanderbilt and Clemson.
Petrino’s Take: “He’s very fast, can really run with the ball after the catch and makes a lot of plays with his feet. I’ve had a lot of success recruiting Bolles High School. There’s a couple of guys on our staff right now that played for me, that were graduates from there. It’s a great school, a great academic school. The Sharpe brothers, one of them works over in the weight room for us, he’s our assistant strength and conditioning coach, and one is an intern for us over here in the football department who finished his NFL career and came over here to work for us in the fall. We were happy about that, so we have a little in there. You are going to find out that this young man is a very, very good football player.”
K/P – FR – 6-0 –170 – Russellville, Ark. (Russellville HS)
Hocker’s powerful right leg helped him earn all-state honors in 2009 at Russellville High School under head coach Jeff Holt. As a senior, he was also named the Defensive Player of the Year by The Arkansas Democrat Gazette. He was ranked as the best kicker in the state of Arkansas by Scout.com. Hocker was selected to play in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association East-West Shrine game. As a senior, he helped Russellville to an 8-3-1 record and kicked a school record 15 field goals. All but three of his 61 kickoffs reached the end zone for a touchback, resulting in opponents starting from their 20-yard line a little more than 95 percent of the time. In addition, more than half his kickoffs went through the end zone. He finished the season with a 45-yard average on 35 punt attempts. He averaged more than 45 yards in seven games and 14 of his punts were downed inside the 20. He kicked four field goals in a 26-26 tie at Fayetteville on Sept. 18, including a school record 52-yarder. One of his most memorable performances in 2009 came on Oct. 9 in a 14-3 victory at then unbeaten Bryant when he punted five times for an average of 41.8 yards and three were downed inside the 20-yard line, highlighted by a 62-yarder. As a junior, he averaged 38 yards per punt. He selected Arkansas over Hawaii, Arkansas State, Memphis and North Carolina.
Petrino’s Take: “He can do all three phases and we’re real excited about that. He’s a young man that can really punt the ball. He has to work on his technique and continue to improve on that. He’s kind of grown up with the idea that he’s a kicker and a kickoff guy, but really, really has a lot of talent in punting the football. He also has the ability to kick the ball through the end zone just about every time he lines up and that will certainly help us on the kickoff cover team. He is a very good kicker, so we’re excited to have a guy that can actually do all three. We certainly will be counting on him to contribute and compete for a spot right away.”
WR – FR – 6-1 –194 – Norcross, Ga. (Greater Atlanta Christian School)
Horton played both wide receiver and defensive back during high school at Greater Atlanta Christian School, where he was coached by Ken Robinson. Horton is ranked as the No. 76 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com and the No. 61 recruit in the state of Georgia. During his high school career, he had 133 receptions for nearly 2,400 yards and had 18 touchdowns. During his senior season, he had 51 catches for 710 yards and seven touchdowns and earned honorable mention class 2A All-State honors. He was named to the All-County first-team as a junior. During his sophomore season, he had one of his most memorable performances when he had 10 catches for 244 yards against Calhoun. In 2007, he was a teammate at Greater Atlanta Christian School of Bobby Petrino, Jr. He is also a star basketball player for his high school. He chose Arkansas over Alabama, Maryland, UCLA, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Illinois and Vanderbilt.
Petrino’s Take: “I had the pleasure of being able to watch Julian his sophomore year just about every Friday night. He played with my youngest son, Bobby, and is a very, very impressive young man. He can elevate, catch the ball in his hands, run with the ball after the catch, he can jump over and play cornerback. He plays the ball real well in the air at corner. He had a number of interceptions playing corner his sophomore year when I got to watch him, and one of the first things I did when we took the job here was make sure Julian understood that he had a place to come and play college football. We offered him, I think, when he was just a sophomore.”
WR – FR – 6-3 –185 – Hoover, Ala. (Hoover HS)
Humphrey was a standout wide receiver who helped lead Hoover High School to a 15-1 record and the Class 6A state championship as a senior under coach Josh Niblett. He is listed as the No. 85 wide receiver nationally by Rivals.com and No. 34 in the state of Alabama. He was selected to play in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game for his efforts during his final year. In 2009, he had 67 receptions for 1,011 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was an Honorable Mention All-State selection by the ASWA as a junior when he caught 47 passes for 808 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He had a 17.2 yard average per catch and a long of 82 yards for the Buccaneers, which finished as the 6A state championship runner-up in 2008. Humphrey also competes on the track team. He is the son of former Alabama and NFL running back Bobby Humphrey. He was also recruited by Kentucky, Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska and West Virginia.
Petrino’s Take: “Certainly one of the top programs in the country; he has been very well coached. He is also a tremendous track athlete. His mom was a very good track athlete, I think she holds some records at UAB. His dad was a very good football player at the University of Alabama. We are very excited to have Maudrecus, he is a guy who can really run after the catch. He runs excellent routes, and he has Colby Hamilton type hands. He can extend his hand away from his body catch balls, elevate and catch balls. He is only going to get stronger and faster. He hasn’t spent a lot of time in the weight room because basically when football is over he is running track. He has been running track his whole life. I think his goal at the high jump is 6’10” and it certainly feels like he is going to get that.”
DT – FR – 6-3 –260 – Hoover, Ala. (Spain Park HS)
He was a key component on the defensive line for Spain Park for three-straight years. He is ranked as the No. 45 defensive tackle prospect in the nation and the No. 18 recruit in the state of Alabama by Rivals.com. He is listed at No. 65 by Scout.com. As a senior, Jackson recorded 82 tackles, 22 QB hurries and seven tackles for a loss. He also collected seven sacks, two pass deflections, one forced fumble and one QB hit. He was selected to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game after this past season. He also earned ASWA First Team All-State honors as well as being named Shelby County Reporter First-Team All-County. He was also part of the Birmingham News Super Senior Pre-Season Second Dozen. In 2008, he collected 63 tackles, three for a loss and four sacks. As a sophomore in 2007, he tallied 22 tackles and two sacks on the Alabama 6A state championship runner-up team. Jackson was ranked as the No. 16 defensive tackle in the state of Alabama and the No. 41 recruit at his position by Rivals.com. He played at Spain Park High School for coach John Grass. He was also recruited by Auburn, Duke, Kentucky, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Southern Miss, UAB and Vanderbilt.
Petrino’s Take: “Jeremiah is a very good football player, very strong young man. We will start him off at defensive end. He played both defensive end and defensive tackle in high school. He has a very good ability to rush the passer. He is a very strong and physical guy. I am very excited about him, there is no doubt about that. He is going to be a good football player. He is young, he just turned 17, he is only going to get bigger and stronger.”
DT – FR – 6-2 – 310 – Junction City, Ark. (Junction City HS)
A coveted defensive tackle, Jones helped lead Junction City to back-to-back 2A state championships as he was named the MVP of the title game during his junior and senior seasons. He is ranked as the No. 19 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 2 recruit in the state of Arkansas by Rivals.com. Jones was a first-team all-state selection in 2009 and he was selected to play in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association East-West Shrine game. The Dragons earned the state title by defeating Bearden both seasons and in 2009 Jones finished the game with six tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery. As a senior, he had 97 tackles, 25 tackles for a loss and four fumble recoveries. He had 98 tackles as a junior, 102 as a sophomore and 53 tackles as a freshman. Jones was coached at Junction City by David Carpenter and he also played offensive tackle for the Dragons. He is the three-time defending state champion in the shot put and also played basketball. He can bench an impressive 420 pounds and squat 550. He was also recruited by Auburn, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Baylor.
Petrino’s Take: “This is obviously a guy we are very excited about. A great football player; he is very physical. The great thing about Bryan is that he seems to never come off the field. He played offensive tackle, defensive tackle, some defensive end, kicked the extra points for field goals for them, he is just a great football player. Obviously we feel that he will come in and contribute and compete to play right away, much like D.D. Jones did a year ago. He is a special, special football player, and we are very excited to have him. There was a lot of energy and effort that went into recruiting him with the entire staff and we did a great job in the recruiting process.”
ATH – FR – 6-3 – 220 – Jenks, Okla. (Jenks HS)
Lake is a versatile athlete who played wide receiver and also lined up at running back in high school. He was also recruited by many schools at linebacker. Lake attended Hargrave Military Academy before playing in nine games for national powerhouse Jenks in 2008. He is rated as the No. 23 prospect in the state of Oklahoma by Rivals.com. As a junior under Coach Allan Trimble, Lake caught 21 passes for 483 yards and five touchdowns while helping the Trojans go 12-2 and reach the Class 6A state championship game. He had a season-high 126 yards on five receptions and scored two touchdowns against Sapulpa on Oct. 3, 2008. Lake selected Arkansas over Oklahoma, Kansas State, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, TCU, UNLV and Wyoming.
Petrino’s Take: “Kind of an interesting story, we watched him play as a wide receiver, run around, catch the ball, elevate, jump, catch touchdown passes. We brought him into camp last summer and we said ‘hey we would like to see you play linebacker’. He jumped right in there and was a natural, instincts, movement, size, strength, physical ability, really looking forward to his senior year. Eligibility-wise because of his guardian moving, he wasn’t able to play at Jenks this year. He was committed to Oklahoma and Coach McGee did a great job of staying on him and turning him around. We were on the phone with him all through the night last night.”
RB/LB – FR – 6-2 –225 – Heber Springs, Ark. (Heber Springs HS)
He is considered one of the best running back recruits in the state of Arkansas. He was named a 2008 and 2009 All-State selection for Coach Steve Janski at Heber Springs High School. Mitchell was ranked the No. 7 player in the state of Arkansas by Rivals.com and the No. 97 running back in the country by Scout.com. He was also selected to play for the East team in the 55th Arkansas High School Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game. As a senior, he carried the ball 225 times for 1,691 yards, 26 TDs and collected one reception for 32 yards and he had five two-point conversions. On the defensive side of the ball, he collected 91 tackles, three tackles for a loss, two sacks, 11 QB hurries, three forced fumbles, one recovered fumble and one blocked punt for a scoop and score. The All-State running back rushed for 1,876 yards and 24 touchdowns during his junior season. He also recorded 110 tackles on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker. He was also recruited by Arkansas State and Ole Miss.
Petrino’s Take: “Braylon is a guy who can play either one. He can be that big back that we like, that is very physical, catch the ball in the back field, and the speed to go the distance. He also can go on the other side and play linebacker. When we started recruiting him he was strictly playing running back, he came to our camp, and did a great job at our camp. Then this year they played him at linebacker and he did a very nice job, he certainly has the size and speed to play both sides of the ball. We are looking forward to him. He is only going to get bigger and stronger. He is going to be a very good football player for us.”
OL – FR – 6-6 – 285 – Prague, Okla. (Prague HS)
Simek is an athletic lineman that played on both the offensive and defensive lines at Prague High School under coach Charles Atchison. He is ranked as the No. 66 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and was also selected as the No. 18 prospect in the state of Oklahoma. Scout.com ranked him as the No. 102 offensive tackle in the nation. He has a 40 time of 4.86. He also competed on the track team in the shot put. He has nearly 20 scholarship offers including Arizona, Texas Tech, TCU, Missouri, Tulsa, Nebraska and Baylor.
Petrino’s Take: “Denton has been on our campus a number of times. He was committed to another school but we kept recruiting him, and he called us back about a week or so ago and his interest rate went way up and we were able to get him to become a Razorback. He is a guy that we really like his length. He has great arms, great athletic ability, he did have an injury this year and only got to play a number of games but he is a guy we think will play offensive tackle for us. He is going to continue to grow for us. We really like his athleticism, and his long arms, he will be a pass protector that will learn run block a little bit better.”
DE – FR – 6-2 – 230 – Mount Ulla, N.C. (West Rowan HS)
Smith is considered one of the best defensive recruits in the state of North Carolina, helping West Rowan High School to back-to-back North Carolina state titles and a 30-game winning streak. As a senior, he earned Associate Press All-State honors for the second-straight year. Heading into the playoffs this season, he had collected 98 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 36 QB hurries, 11 pass breakups, four tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, one recovered fumble. In 2009, he helped his team to a 16-0 record and a Class 3A state championship earning MVP honors in the title game. He followed that up by being named the defensive MVP for the North Carolina team in the North Carolina-South Carolina all-star game and was invited to participate in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl he had seven tackles and one sack. As a junior in 2008, Smith tallied 117 tackles, 25 sacks, two forced fumbles, two pass break-ups, and 44 QB hurries. In addition to repeating as All-Conference and All-County selections, he was named to the Associated Press All-State Team. With Smith’s help on defense, West Rowan went 15-1 and defeated West Craven in the NCHSAA 3A State Championship. Over the last two seasons, Smith has amassed over 200 tackles and 48 sacks. Smith was ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.com. He was coached in high school by Scott Young. He was also recruited by Arizona, Clemson, East Carolina, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Penn State, Wisconsin and South Carolina.
Petrino’s Take: “Chris is a special player. He can rush the passer, as good of first step coming off the ball as I’ve ever seen out of a high school player. He can really bend, accelerate. When we were at his high school speaking with coaches and a number of players, some that signed today, one or two with division one schools, one thing that always came up is that Chris was that fastest guy on the team. A couple prospects for next year, wide receivers, other positions, Chris was the fastest guy on the team, that was something that we were very, very impressed with. He was able to come over to our campus in the spring and made an early commitment and we hung on to it.”
ATH – FR – 6-3 – 190 – Port St. Joe, Fla. (Port St. Joe HS)
An explosive player on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker and safety who also played running back at Port St. Joe High School for coach Vern Barth. Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 80 safety in the nation. As a senior, he had 94 solo tackles and 45 assisted tackles and he also recorded four tackles for a loss and one pass deflection, three quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. On offense, he rushed for 540 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned kickoffs of 95 and 97 yards for touchdowns. He made well over 100 tackles as a junior when he was a second-team 1A all-state selection. He chose Arkansas over Toledo, Duke and Tulane.
Petrino’s Take: “Darrell is a guy who had a connection to Arkansas. He had a previous coach down there that moved to Arkansas. Darrell came up here over the summer, liked it, we started recruiting, he committed right away, and I was like ‘why is this guy committing so soon?’ One of the reasons was he had already been here on our campus and he really liked what he saw. He is another guy who fought through a lot of people coming after him and stuck to his commitment. I am really excited about him. We talked to his coaches, we talked to everybody at the school and the first thing they say about him is how tough he is, how physical he is, and how well he runs. We are really excited to add him to our secondary.”
ATH – FR – 6-0 – 185 – Junction City, Ark. (Junction City HS)
A three-sport athlete in high school, Turner played both safety and running back at Junction City and he returned kickoffs and punts for head coach David Carpenter. He was an all-state honoree in 2009 and was selected to play in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association East-West All-Star game. Turner helped lead the Dragons to back-to-back class 2A state championships and a record of 27-1 during 2008 and 2009 combined. As a senior, he had 67 tackles, eight interceptions and forced four fumbles. In the state title game against Bearden in his senior season, he rushed 16 times for 92 yards and a touchdown. In the semifinals against Leftwich, he returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to spark Junction City to a 56-0 victory. Turner is also an outstanding basketball player for his high school. He was also recruited by Auburn, Louisiana Tech and Baylor.
Petrino’s Take: “Alan is a running back and safety, 6-0, 185 pounds from Junction City High School. We are going to line Alan up at safety. He is very physical, very fast and very athletic. I think he will be a very good football player for us. We are real excited to have him and we can’t say enough about Alan.”
TE – FR – 6-4 – 241 – Little Rock, Ark. (Catholic HS)
Uekman committed to Arkansas early in the summer of 2009 and is regarded as one of the top prospects in the state. He is ranked as the No. 23 tight end in the nation and the No. 5 recruit in the state of Arkansas by Rivals.com. He was named to the Associated Press Arkansas Super Team as a senior. In 2009, he had 56 receptions for 600 yards and six touchdowns. As a junior, he was hampered by a deep thigh bruise throughout the season, but had 54 catches for five touchdowns. He was coached at Catholic High School by Ellis Register. Uekman also plays basketball for Catholic High School and is considered one of the top players in the state. He was also recruited by Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Louisville, Nebraska and Ole Miss.
Petrino’s Take: “Garrett Uekman is 6-4, 241 pounds. He is 241 pounds. He is from Catholic High School in Little Rock. Garrett is a guy that as you watched his video you said this guy can really run and catch the ball. He can jump, he can elevate, he can get down the field; he can run the corner route and catch the ball over his shoulder. Can he block? Can he play tight end for us? In this league can he block for us? My first question was: you are telling me he is 241 pounds, are you sure he is 241 pounds? So he came to camp, he is 241 pounds. There is no question about it. He came to camp to prove that he could play at the University of Arkansas and he did a great job of blocking. He can really shoot his hips, run his speed. He doesn’t do that a lot at his high school. He basically splits out, plays a lot of receiver type schemes in his high school, but he is very athletic. He is a great basketball player. He is the kind of guy I know will come in and compete and have a chance to play early for us.”
WR – FR – 5-11 – 180 – Jacksonville, Fla. (Andrew Jackson HS)
Wade recorded 53 receptions for 769 yards and nine touchdowns in 2009 and returned eight punt returns for touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons. In 2008, Wade caught 58 passes for 738 yards and 14 touchdowns and returned 10 punts for nearly 500 yards and three touchdowns. Wade is rated the No. 48 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com who also rates him the No. 73 recruit in Florida. He was listed by Scout.com as the No. 91 wide receiver nationally. He also excels on the basketball court, averaging 15.6 points a game as a junior while playing shooting guard. He was coached at Andrew Jackson High School by Kevin Sullivan. He was also recruited by South Carolina, Purdue Ole Miss, Illinois, Miami, South Florida and about 15 other schools.
Petrino’s Take: “Marquel Wade is 5-11, 180-pound wide receiver from Andrew Jackson High School. He is a very special player with the ball in his hands. Marquel can really make plays after the catch with his ability to run, his ability to return punts and kickoffs. He is real special. He is a guy who I think can be a great player for us. The last receiver that I coached from Andrew Jackson High School was a young man by the name of Arnold Jackson. He actually broke Jerry Rice’s record for the most catches in a career, I think it was 305 catches, at the University of Louisville, and Marquel reminds me a lot of Arnold. He is long legged, very fast, great hands and can really make plays after the catch. I think he is a very special player.”
QB – FR – 6-2 – 197 – Houston, Texas (Westfield HS)
Walker made history by becoming the first Westfield football player to graduate early as he enrolled at the University of Arkansas in January of 2010. Rivals.com listed him as the No. 33 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. Walker became the starting quarterback for the Mustangs his sophomore seasons and was a perennial All-District selection. In 2009, he was named the Texas District 5A-13 co-Offensive Player of the Year. He was also a first-team All-District selection as a sophomore and junior. He was also a finalist for the Houston Touchdown Club’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2009. Walker completed 62 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,383 yards as a senior with 25 touchdowns. He also rushed for 347 yards and seven touchdowns, while leading his team to an 8-4 record and the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs. He had a season high four passing touchdowns against Dekaney High School on Sept. 25 and was 16-of-26 for 276 yards in the game. He threw for a season best 300 yards against Cypress Woods on Nov. 20 and was 22-of-37 with three touchdowns. In the game against Klein Forest on Oct. 1, he had a season high 18 carries for 111 yards. Walker passed for multiple touchdowns in eight of 12 games his senior season and passed for three-or-more in five of 12 games. As a junior, he threw for 2,084 yards and 20 touchdowns and completed 66 percent of his passes. On Oct. 4, 2008, he was 24-of-38 for a season high 440 yards and four touchdowns against Klein Forest. During his sophomore season, he passed for 1,328 yards and 20 touchdowns. One of his most impressive games as a sophomore came against Plano in which he threw for 323 yards in the playoff contest. He was coached by Corby Meekins at Westfield High School. He was also recruited by Houston, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Utah, Nebraska and Syracuse.
Petrino’s Take: “Jacoby Walker is a quarterback who we already have on campus. We really liked Jacoby. One of the things that we were real impressed with about Jacoby is that he played from under the center and he played shotgun. We really liked his offense in the fact that he can already take a snap, drop back, get to the right mesh point. He is a very confident young man who is very knowledgeable about the game of football. I think that is one of the things that impressed Coach McGee when he went down and met with Jacoby for the first time. When you asked him questions, he could put your defense in his mind. When you asked him to draw something up on the board, he could draw it up. He really understands the game real well. He understands defense, he knows offensive schemes. He was very, very well coached at his high school and we are very happy to have him already on campus and he has done a nice job here. I think the one thing about Jacoby is that every person that has said something to me about our new quarterback is saying how nice a young man he is and how happy they are that he is here with us, and that means a lot. He is a very high character guy that will certainly be a good player for us.”
*- Enrolled in January of 2010