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:
Pittman makes big impression on lineman’s family
Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman on the sideline during the Razorbacks' Aug. 31, 2013 game against Louisiana-Lafayette at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman had an in-home visit Monday with offensive lineman Brian Wallace Jr. and his parents.
Wallace, 6-6, 304 pounds, 5.2 seconds in the 40-yard dash, plays for St. Louis Christian Brothers College High and is a major target of the Razorbacks. He has more than 20 scholarship offers and is rated a four star prospect by national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network.
Wallace and his parents are expected to arrive in Fayetteville today for an official visit. Brian Wallace Sr.said Pittman’s in-home visit went well.
“Of course, we’re looking forward to the visit so we can see the benefits of what the university has to offer,” Wallace’s father said.
2014 UA Commitments
POS. PLAYER HT WT 40
WR Jared Cornelius 6-1 190 4.48 SCHOOL Shreveport Evangel
RB Juan Day 6-2 210 4.5 SCHOOL North Little Rock
LB Dwayne Eugene 6-2 215 4.5 SCHOOL Metairie (La.) Rummel
DT Hjalte Froholdt 6-5 275 - SCHOOL Warren (Ohio) Harding
LB Khalia Hackett 6-2 208 4.63 SCHOOL Douglasville (Ga.) So. Paulding
DE Jake Hall 6-5 230 - SCHOOL Springdale Har-Ber
K Cole Hedlund 5-10 170 - SCHOOL Argyle, Texas
DL Bijhon Jackson 6-2 325 5.1 SCHOOL El Dorado
TE Jack Kraus 6-5 240 4.9 SCHOOL Bentonville
WR Corey McBride 6-2 180 4.34 SCHOOL Geismar (La.) Dutchtown
WR Torrance Mosley 5-10 175 4.4 SCHOOL Geismar (La.) Dutchtown
CB Chris Murphy 5-10 180 4.4 SCHOOL Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter
QB Rafe Peavey 6-2 208 4.5 SCHOOL Bolivar, Mo.
TE Ravian Pierce 6-4 230 4.53 SCHOOL Plantation (Fla.)
OL Jovan Pruitt 6-6 295 5.1 SCHOOL Dallas Bishop Dunne
DB Santos Ramirez 6-2 180 4.55 SCHOOL Shreveport Evangel
CB Henre Toliver 6-1 180 4.56 SCHOOL Metairie (La.) Rummel
DL Armon Watts 6-5 270 5.1 SCHOOL St. Louis Christian Brothers
An unofficial visit to Arkansas in August convinced father and son to return for an official visit. They were impressed by Coach Bret Bielema, strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert, the players and the school’s academic program.
Wallace’s mother, Leslie, didn’t make the trip in August but has enjoyed visiting with Pittman over the phone.
“Of course, they’ve built a relationship and they kind of kid around a little bit,” said Wallace Sr., who is impressed by Pittman’s straightforward approach.
Wallace, who will play in the U.S. Army All-American game Jan. 4 in San Antonio, has taken official visits to Iowa and Missouri. He plans to travel to Alabama next weekend for an official visit.
“He’ll still have one official visit open, but I’m not sure if he’s going to want to take the visit,” Wallace Sr. said. “It really depends on how Brian feels.”
Lemming said Wallace is a dominant run blocker who didn’t give up a sack as a junior.
“Once he locks onto a defender, it’s over,” Lemming said.
Wallace’s teammate, defensive lineman Armon Watts, is orally committed to Arkansas and will make an official visit to Fayetteville this weekend as well.
Safety C.J. Hampton of Meridian, Miss., arrived in Fayetteville on Thursday morning for an official visit. Hampton, 6-1, 198, 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash, is rated as a four-star prospect by Lemming and is orally committed to Ole Miss.
Torrance Mosley and Corey McBride of Geismar (La.) Dutchtown and Jared Cornelius of Shreveport Evangel have rescheduled their official visits to Arkansas. All three receivers, who are orally committed to Arkansas, were scheduled to visit this weekend but have pushed back their visits to Dec. 13 because of concerns about inclement weather.
Cornelius said on Twitter that he would take an official visit to TCU this weekend.
North Little Rock running back Juan Day, who is also committed to Arkansas, planned to visit this weekend but has pushed back his visit to January.
BIELEMA VISITS SAFETY
Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge made an in-home visit with highly sought safety Shawn Boone of Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Dwyer on Monday evening.
Boone, 5-10, 180 pounds, 44.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has scholarship offers from more than 20 schools, including Arkansas, Maryland, North Carolina State, Ole Miss, Penn State and Tennessee. He said Bielema’s visit was more for his parents than for him.
“I’ve been talking to him for a while,” Boone said. “Tonight it was just about my parents. It was getting to know my parents and going over things with them and just making sure they feel comfortable with him if I was to decide to go there.”
He and teammate Johnnie Dixon, a highly recruited receiver, made official visits to Fayetteville on Sept. 14 for Arkansas’ game against Southern Miss. Bielema spoke then about the thin numbers at Boone’s position.
“He was really hitting on the depth chart situation and talked about academics and how well they take care of the players if they get injured,” said Boone, who is rated a three-star-plus prospect by Tom Lemming. “Just the little things that matter.”
Boone has taken official visits to North Carolina State, Maryland and Penn State and plans to wrap up his official visits with a trip to Ole Miss in January.
“I’ll let a team know in January,” Boone said, “but I won’t announce until signing day.”
Email Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports, Pages 20 on 12/06/2013