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.
THE RECRUITING GUY:
Kansas guard chooses UA
LITTLE ROCK Combination guard Kelsey Brooks became the third player to orally commit publicly to Arkansas women’s Coach Tom Collen for the 2013 class when she choose the Razorbacks on Sunday after her official visit.
Brooks, 5-9, of Olathe, Kan., picked the Razorbacks over approximately seven other scholarship offers, including ones from Houston, Wichita State and Creighton. She averaged 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 4.5 steal per game as a junior.
“The location is great; I love the campus, it’s not far from home,” Brooks said. “The coaching staff and the girls have a like a family kind of chemistry. I really love that.”
Dan Olson of the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report website rates Brooks the No. 109 prospect and No. 20 point guard in the nation.
“She’s a wiry, athletic, explosive point guard that can create, handle pressure, manufacture her own shot,” Olson said. “I really think this kid is a superb player.”
She said Collen and his staff have their players’ best interests at heart.
“They’re constantly pushing you and off the court they talk to you and support you in school and anything else you need,” Brooks said. “ They’re always there for you.”
Brooks and Kentucky freshman center Willie Cauley-Stein, 7-0, are dating and helping each other improve as players.
“We’re always talking about basketball and actually work out together, so we always have that kind of chemistry on and off the court,” Brooks said. “We’re constantly encouraging and pushing each other to be the best we can be. It’s kind of a win-win situation.”
Brooks, who has a 3.8 grade-point average, joins guard-forward Jessica Jackson, 6-2, of Jacksonville and combination guard McKenzie Adams, 5-9, of Frisco (Texas) Centennial as player committed to Arkansas.
The Hogs are awaiting word on another top target: shooting guard Imani Wright, 5-10, of Texarkana (Texas) Liberty- Eylau.
Highly recruited defensive back Trevor Walker made an unofficial visit to Arkansas in August and liked what he saw. He hoped to make a return trip to Fayetteville this weekend to see more, but still plans to attend the Mississippi game in Little Rock on Saturday.
“When my dad and I went there, we didn’t get to see as much as we wanted to,” said Walker, who’s being recruited by defensive tackles coach Kevin Peoples. “We came in on a Sunday, an off day. There were a couple of coaches there and we toured the campus. We just want to go back and check everything out.”
Walker, 6-1, 185 pounds, 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas) reports approximately 26 scholarship offers, including ones from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Iowa, Arizona and Vanderbilt. He said he and his father hope to make one of the Hogs’ remaining two games in Fayetteville.
“That was going to be this week for Ole Miss,” said Walker, who’s looking to use Saturday’s game as a way to get to know the coaches and players better. “But it will have to be one of the opportunities when they’re at home and then maybe we’ll think about that, also. “
Osceola running back Korliss Marshall plans to attend the Hogs’ game against Ole Miss on Saturday, Seminoles Coach Russell Leggett said.
Marshall, 6-0, 190, 4.4, received a scholarship offer from Arkansas State as a sophomore but is starting to gain more interest from schools after receiving his ACT test score and becoming fully qualified in September.
“Once we got it out in the public, we started getting a lot more phone calls,” Leggett said. “I made a six week highlight [reel] last week and started getting it out in the mail this past week. Hopefully we’ll have some schools interested and start hearing something back pretty quick.”
Leggett said Marshall, who has gained 1,631 yards on 122 carries and scored 22 touchdowns, is one of the best he’s seen in 18 years working in the Osceola School District.
“What I’ve always said is I don’t know if he’s the best pure football player,” Leggett said. “But he’s as a good of an athlete I’ve seen come through here. He still has some learning to do on the football end, but as far as his athletic ability it’s just unbelievable.”
E-mail Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports, Pages 19 on 10/23/2012