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:
UA offer serves as inspiration for Froholdt, others
One of the Ohio's top 2015 prospects, tight end-defensive end Hjalte Froholdt visited Arkansas in May.
Arkansas fans blew up the Twitter account of Danish junior defensive end Hjalte Froholdt, adding approximately 400 followers in about eight minutes Dec. 2 following his oral commitment to the Razorbacks.
The reaction back home was a bit more subdued in the nation of 5.5 million that recognizes soccer as its national sport.
“Not a lot of things happened,” Froholdt said. “Only my closest friends and my teammates congratulated me.”
Froholdt, 6-5, 275 pounds, chose Arkansas over scholarship offers from Alabama, Michigan, Florida State, Michigan State, Ohio State and others. He said his teammates were happy for him.
“They congratulated me and said that I have an awesome future ahead of me,” Froholdt said. “The second question was why I chose Arkansas.”
The explanation was simple.
“It was a perfect feeling about Arkansas,” he said. “I could picture myself perfect right there.”
Froholdt, who is rated by ESPN as the No. 42 prospect in the 2015 class, started his journey to Arkansas by coming to the United States as an exchange student in 2012. He quickly drew the attention of college coaches as a sophomore with his play at tight endand defensive end for Warren (Ohio) Harding High School.
His success has motivated his older brother Lars, 6-1, 320, who is looking to play nose guard and fullback next fall in hopes of earning his own scholarship offer. Both plan to come back to the United States and attend a prep school. Another family member also may take up the sport.
“I did inspire this one little guy from my dad’s part of the family,” Froholdt said. “He told me he wanted to be just like me. That really made me feel great, and that is one of the purposes why I want to talk so openly about my commitment and my journey, so that someone would be inspired to do the same.”
Froholdt said he does what he can do to promote American football in Europe.
“I always tell people how great of a sport it is,” Froholdt said. “A lot of people like the idea, but they don’t know how big of a commitment it is, weightlifting and everything.”
Arkansas was the onlyschool to mail a written notice of his scholarship offer. Froholdt said the framed offer sits on his desk in the “chill and game room.”
“I’m always going to remember the offer that Arkansas gave me, and it will be everywhere online,” said Froholdt, whose lead recruiter at Arkansas is cornerbacks coachTaver Johnson. “The written notice is something that I can really take with me, and also to represent that I started from the bottom. That I really worked hard for that piece of paper.” DOING HIS RESEARCH
Arkansas coaches spread out across the nation and visited the schools and homes of prospects from Dec. 1 until Monday, which marked the start of the NCAA’s dead period.
One of Arkansas’ top cornerback prospects, Cornelius Floyd of Miami Gulliver Prep, saw Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon at his school and his home.
“He’s everything you want in a recruiter,” Floyd said. “Great to talk to, not only about football but other things in life.”
Floyd, 6-1, 170 pounds, 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has approximately 17 scholarship offers from schools, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Virginia. He plans to take an official visit to Arkansas on Jan. 17.
He said Shannon has offered him sound advice, telling him to take his time and not be afraid to let people know when he needs his space.
Floyd took an official visit to Virginia on Dec. 6. and has visits planned to West Virginia and Oklahoma next month.
His football IQ is one of his greatest assets.
“I would have to say mentally knowing what route combination they’re going to run,” he said. “Knowing down and distance separates me from most.”
Floyd said the sales pitch from many college coaches seems to center on playingtime, education, girls and the level of competition.
So, which school has the most attractive women?
“I can answer that question at the end of January,” Floyd said, laughing.
Communication is key during the recruiting process, and Arkansas quarterback commitment Rafe Peavey of Bolivar, Mo., said Arkansas recruiting coordinator Chris Hauser has never failed him.
Peavey, 6-2, 208 pounds, 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, will report to Fayetteville on Jan. 10 to begin classes and will be able to participate in spring practice. He was selected to play in the Under Armour All-American game Jan. 4 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“Coach Hauser has been like a blessing through this whole thing,” said Peavey, who is rated a four-star-plus prospect and the No. 8 quarterback in the nation by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. “He has been awesome. He is always there to talk to if I ever have a question. He’s always there at the drop of a hat.”
E-mail Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports, Pages 31 on 12/22/2013