Arkansas expects three to sign today

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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.
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.

— Arkansas’ football team is expected to sign at least three prospects today during the first day of the junior college signing period.

Today marks the first day junior college recruits who plan to enroll at midterm can sign national letters of intent. The signing period ends Jan. 15.

Safety Tiquention Coleman of Georgia Military College, cornerback Carroll Washington of Salinas (Calif.) Hartnell College and offensive lineman Johnathan McClure of Butler County (Kan.) Community College are expected to sign with Arkansas today.

Myke Tavarres, a linebacker from College of the Siskiyous in California, gave a nonbinding oral commitment to Arkansas earlier and will choose between Arkansas and Boise State today. He is expected to sign at 9 a.m.

Coleman, 5-10, 194 pounds, 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, orally committed to Wisconsin when new Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema was still coaching the Badgers but flipped to the Razorbacks after taking an official visit to Fayetteville last week.

Coleman said the chance to play in the SEC was too good to pass up.

“It means a lot to me and my family,” Coleman said. “It’s my dream to play in the SEC. It’s a real big deal. I’m looking forward to it.”

The hard-hitting safety said he was honored to have Bielema as his sole recruiter.

“When you’re getting recruited, you’re usually getting recruited by everybody but the head coach,” said Coleman, who is expected to sign at 12:30 p.m. Central. “My situation, I was getting recruited by the head coach and not anyone else. To have him recruiting me by himself made a big impact on my decision.”

Washington, 5-11, 180, 4.4, chose the Razorbacks over scholarship offers from nine other schools, including Texas Tech, Rutgers, Mississippi State and Kansas.

Washington took an official visit to Mississippi State, but he decided to remain committed to the Razorbacks after talking to Bielema by telephone and in person.

“It’s been a long journey,” said Washington, who is scheduled sign at 11 a.m. Central. “One of my goals when I went out West was to get an SEC scholarship and to get to play in the SEC one day.”

Washington and Arkansas fullback Kiero Small, both Baltimore natives, attended the same junior college and will be reunited in Fayetteville.

“I was just talking to Kiero a couple of nights ago,” Washington said. “We just felt like this was meant to happen. It’s strange how we grew up at an early age being on the same team and now we come to a program where we find a good coach .”

McClure, 6-4, 305, plans to sign between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Martrell Spaight, a linebacker from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, will choose between Arkansas and Kansas State and will announce his decision between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. today.

Spaight, 6-0 1/2, 220, 4.5, is a 2011 graduate of North Little Rock High School. He orally committed to Kansas State on Dec. 10 but received a scholarship offer from Arkansas on Saturday night during an inhome visit with Bielema and assistant coach Bobby Allen.

Offensive lineman Mitchell Bell of Navarro (Texas) College had committed to Arkansas but will not sign with the Razorbacks because of academic issues.

In other recruiting news, receiver Lamar Jordan of Frisco (Texas) Centennial said Bielema called his high school coach Tuesday and said he didn’t believe Jordan fit his offensive scheme and that he was looking to offer Jordan’s scholarship to another prospect.

Arkansas has 15 oral commitments.

Sports, Pages 22 on 12/19/2012