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.
Shannon likes newcomers' skills
Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon has highly sought receiver Ryeshene Bronson planning an official visit to Fayetteville.
Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon won three national championships as a player and coach at Miami. He started at linebacker for the 1987 national title team and has been coaching the positioning for most of his coaching career.
Junior college linebacker Myke Tavarres enrolled in Arkansas in January and has impressed Shannon with his athleticism. Shannon is looking forward to seeing the other two linebacker signees, Brooks Ellis of Fayetteville and Martrell Spaight of Coffeyville Community College in the fall.
"We recruited those guys to come in and play," Shannon said. "The one thing we have to do and Coach B has always established this anybody is that we recruit has to be a winner. Anybody we sign at the University of Arkansas has to be able to win the Southeast conference.
"We look forward to in bringing in guys like Spaight and Ellis, very competitive young men, very smart young men that are great athletes that in our mind give us a chance to win the Southeastern Conference. They're both big, they're both fast."
Arkansas fans and their enthusiasm for Razorback football has impressed Shannon most since his arrival in Fayetteville.
"No matter where you go and I've been around many parts of the state and everybody just wants a winner," Shannon said. "Something to look forward to all of the time. That's what you need in college football and in a college town and also in the state of Arkansas because Razorback football is Arkansas. I think that's something that's special."
From 1993-1997, Shannon coached linebackers at Miami, including recently retired Ray Lewis , who many consider to be one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game.
"He was so competitive ," Shannon said. "That's what makes him a difference maker. Being in the league for 17 years is unbelievable but coaching a young man like that was unbelievable."
Lewis gave Shannon insight to his competitiveness when he approached him Shannon after hearing the linebacker coach scored a touchdown during his playing days as a Hurricane.
"He said, 'I'll score two touchdowns before I leave here,'" Shannon said. "I said, 'Yea right.' And that's what he scored before he left the University of Miami. He's that type of person. He's outgoing, very sociable and really a team oriented type of guy."
Getting to know Randy Shannon:
Favorite meal: I like eating seafood. I love seafood. Anything fried I'm going to eat some french fries. I can tell you that right now. If I'm not in the french fry mood, it's going to be some collard greens, peas and rice.
Like to do during his down-time: I like the water. I love to see the water. I love to sit and watch the ocean . I love to just and sit and watch the ocean and being near water all the time.
Favorite musical artist: I'm kind of universal I like a little Sting here and there. Every now and then I like a little Luther Vandross. It depends on what kind of mood I'm in.
Role Model growing up: I was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan so I kind of liked all those guys on their defense to be honest with you.
Guilty Pleasure: I love TV series. I like NCIS with Gibbs and the crew. I'm a big military guy. I like Army and war pictures. War World II and a little bit of World War I.