Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
Five new Hogs ready for action
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STATON BREIDENTHAL 9/8/10 North Little Rock's Martell Spaight (left) tackles Catholic's Scott Scruggs during the second quarter of their game Thursday night at War Memorial Stadium.
Wednesday was the big day for five junior college prospects who signed their national letter of intent to continue their football careers at Arkansas.
Cornerback Carroll Washington of Salinas (Calif.) Hartnell College, safety Tiquention Coleman of Georgia Military College, offensive lineman Johnathan McClure of Butler County (Kan.) Community College, and linebackers Martrell Spaight of Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College and Myke Tavarres of Weed (Calif.) College of the Siskiyous plan to enroll at midterm and participate in spring practice.
Washington, 5-11, 180, 4.4 seconds in the 40 yard dash, chose the Hogs over nine other scholarship offers, including Mississippi State, Texas Tech and Rutgers. he's ready to get to Fayetteville and prepare for next season.
"First thing, i have to get into that weight room and get bigger and stronger and faster," Washington said. "Just work on my craft everyday and become a better technician at my techniques and hopefully get down there and showcase my talents and have a even better career than I had at Hartnell."
The Hogs inked two top linebackers in Spaight, 6-0 1/2, 220, 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash and Tavarres, 6-2 1/2, 215, 4.42 seconds in the 40 yard dash. Spaight was committed to Kansas State but switched to the Razorbacks on Wednesday after receiving a scholarship offer from Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema during an in-home visit on Saturday.
Spaight was named first team NJCAA All-American and Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He bought into what Bielema is trying to do in Fayetteville.
"He's trying to build the Arkansas program back up," Spaight said. "I know we had a down year but he's trying to bring back the Arkansas Razorback tradition."
Arkansas had to hold off Boise State in landing Tavarres. Being able to talk to Bielema over the phone and meet him in-person at his school sold him on the Hogs' new coach.
"His confidence definitely helped me out a little bit more," Tavarres said. "He definitely has a plan and I'm really confident he's going to do it."
Coleman, 5-10, 194, 4.47 seconds in the 40 yard dash flipped his commitment from Wisconsin to Arkansas after visiting the Hogs last week. He has several goals in mind.
"Just come in and work hard and earn a starting spot and contribute right away," Coleman said. "Go in there and contend for a national championship. That's what you play for."
McClure, 6-4, 305 of Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas attended earned second team All American honors as a freshman and followed that up with being named a first team All American as a sophomore. His in-home visit with Bielema and assistant coach Bobby Allen reassured him about the direction of the program.
"He really cares," McClure said. "He wants to go out and meet as many people and make a great team. He took the time out of his day to come out all the way to where we were and meet us. It shows he dedicated and shows he's dedicated to get a new staff to create a great team."