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.
Top 100 junior prospect impressed by Bielema
Springdale Har-Ber defensive tackle Josh Frazier (99) is one of the top in-state targets for the 2014 class.
The feedback from recruits about Arkansas' hiring of Bret Bielema as the Hogs' head coach has been overwhelming positive. Springdale Har-Ber junior defensive lineman Josh Frazier is one who feels the same.
"I think Coach Bielema is a pretty cool coach," said Frazier, who's rated the No. 85 junior prospect in the nation by Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. "I haven't talked to him or anything yet but I plan on doing it sometime this week. I've definitely have heard good things about him. He won three conference championships in a row. So I think that's pretty cool. "
Frazier, 6-4, 324, 5.1 seconds in the 40 yard dash, has been offered scholarships by Arkansas, Alabama and Arkansas State. He said he thought of committing to the Hogs because of the hiring of Bielema but said he'll probably see how next season shapes out.
"I want to see what's going to unfold next year and see how Arkansas does and I want to make my decision based on Alabama," Frazier said. "I know Jesse Williams is starting there at defensive tackle and he got hurt. I don't know what year he is. I want to know where I would be if I were to go to Alabama and kind of where I would be if I were to go and play for Arkansas."
Frazier, who had 65 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 7 quarterback hurries this past season, has been impressed on how Bielema has developed talent at Wisconsin, including Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
"I think he's going to be a really good coach and he's a defensive type coach." Frazier said.
Frazier wasn't able to watch Bielema's introductory press conference but was able to catch bits and pieces of it later on TV and came away impressed.
"I think he was really excited about becoming a Hog," Frazier said. "I has really good intentions for the program and wants to build the program up. He's always wanted to be in the SEC. I guess that's one of the reason why he left Wisconsin even though he didn't think badly of them. he wanted to coach in the SEC."