Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Hogs hosts Coleman and Hewitt on officials
Safety Tiquention Coleman was one of the six recruits Bret Bielema persuaded to join the Razorbacks after he took the head coaching job at Arkansas.
Two prospects, safety Tiquention Coleman and linebacker Neville Hewitt from Georgia Military College in Milledgeville arrived in Fayetteville Tuesday afternoon to begin the first official visits under Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema.
Coleman, 5-10, 194, 4.47 seconds in the 40 yard dash, committed to Wisconsin in mid-November in large part because of his relationship with Bielema. After talking to the former Badger coach, he decided to check out the Hogs because the coaching uncertainty in Madison.
"That was one of the main reasons why I committed to Wisconsin in the first place," said Coleman, who will be a December graduate. "Hearing that news kind of shocked me away from Wisconsin a little bit because losing a head coach is a big deal."
Coleman, who has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Wisconsin, Arizona and Mississippi State, doesn't feel any pressure from Bielema .
"He's just gave me a good opportunity and feels like I would fit in real well and contribute right away," Coleman said. "Like I would at Wisconsin."
Hewitt, 6-3, 215, 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash, had a scholarship offer from South Carolina along with strong interest from Georgia when he was a senior at Conyers, Georgia Rockdale County high school but fell short in qualifying and had to attend junior college.
"It's SEC, there's not much more to say about that." said Hewitt in describing why he's interested in Arkansas.
A spring graduate, Hewitt reports scholarship offers from Marshall and Colorado State but is hoping to hear Bielema say he has an offer from the Razorbacks during the visit.
"There's a strong possibility, I would commit." Hewitt said.
Hewitt, who recorded 65 tackles, 5 tackles for loss and 5 pass breaks in 10 games, said he's a fast, athletic linebacker.
"I can play almost any position on defense expect for D-line, of course." said Hewitt, who has West Virginia and Texas A&M as two other possible visits. "Outside linebacker, that's where all the action is."
Coleman said he hoped his parents could make the trip to Arkansas and offer up advice but will have to resort to calling them.
"I always call my parents on my visits and tell them how everything is going and ask their opinion," Coleman said. "Like at Wisconsin, I didn't plan on committing. It was just the heat of the moment and I felt like it was the place for me with coach B being there and the developmental program. If my parents' opinion feels good and goes along with mine there's definitely a possibility of me committing to Arkansas this week."
He had 44 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 recovered fumbles, 4 interceptions and 2 pass breakups this past season. He's had enough time to figure his future plans.
" It's just between Wisconsin and Arkansas right now." Coleman said.
A native of Mauldin, South Carolina, Coleman likes that the Hogs play in the SEC.
"The toughest conference in the nation," Coleman said. "A lot of schools shy away from my size in the SEC but Coach B is giving me a chance to have the opportunity to show I can play in the SEC. I'm looking forward to that moment."
Coleman said Hewitt, a close friend, deserves a scholarship offer from Arkansas. He said he and Bielema spoke about Neville
"I was so happy he was talking about Neville," Coleman said. "Because he's one of the most underrated players I've seen."