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:
Arkansas has another Wingo in its sights
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and his staff wrapped up the 2013 recruiting class and are now looking to add to the Hogs’ three commitments for the 2014 class.
Razorbacks coaches visited the schools of several top juniors prospects at the end of January, including St. Louis University High School, where they are targeting cornerback Raymond Wingo, 6-1, 164 pounds, 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Bielema, offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Jim Chaney and defensive coordinator Chris Ash visited Wingo’s school on the morning of Feb. 1 to check on him.
“I felt I was wanted with the head coach making his way up.” said Wingo, the younger brother of former running back Ronnie Wingo Jr., who has completed his eligibility with the Hogs.
Raymond Wingo, who has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois, played quarterback, running back, receiver, defensive back and returned kicks for the Junior Bills but wants to play cornerback in college.
Raymond Wingo erased any concern that he might not see Arkansas in a favorable light because his brother’s career didn’t turn out like he had wished. Raymond said Ronnie told him he enjoyed his time in Fayetteville and would pick the Hogs again.
“I know for a fact he wanted to play way more than he did, so for him to say that meant something to me,” Raymond Wingo said. “That tells me that’s a great school, and he met a lot of new friends and gave him a chance to grow in a place he felt comfortable.”
Raymond Wingo, who visited Arkansas numerous times during his brother’s career, said he also wants to visit Auburn, Alabama, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa and Nebraska.
MASSIVE GUY, BIG INTEREST
Arkansas will likely get a visit from Orlando Brown, one of the nation’s more highly recruited offensive lineman for 2014.
“I have a very, very high interest in Arkansas,” Brown said. “Very, very high.”
Brown, 6-8, 343 pounds, of Duluth (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge, has more than 40 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and others. Brown said his coach put him on the phone with Coach Bret Bielema and cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson, Brown’s lead recruiter, on signing day.
“I know Coach Bret Bielema is a great coach and I saw what he did at Wisconsin,” said Brown, whose father is the late Orlando Brown Sr., who played for the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. “He was recruiting me there, and I know the offensive line is a big part of his team and it’s definitely something I want to be a part of. “
Brown said he and Johnson have discussed a visit to Fayetteville.
“I’m definitely going to take a visit, maybe in the month or so coming up,” Brown said.
NO BACKING DOWN
Cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson has let highly touted linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams know the Hogs are aggressively recruiting him even though Allen-Williams favors another SEC school.
“He told me they’re going to come after me even though they hear that South Carolina is my leader,” Allen-Williams said. “He said he’s going to come and try to get me. I’m really interested in Arkansas.”
Allen-Williams, 6- 21/2, 225, 4.7, of Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove has more than 20 offers, including ones from Arkansas, South Carolina, Clemson and Alabama. An aunt graduated from Arkansas in the early 1980’s.
“Arkansas has been talked about in my family,” said Allen-Williams, who reports a 315-pound bench press and 450 squat. “Arkansas is a good program. They had a down year this year. I’ve seen where Arkansas can go, and I’ve seen the positive side of Arkansas.”
Allen-Williams said Johnson is working toget him and Bielema on the phone.
“I told him I’ll probably try and get there in the spring.” Allen-Williams said of a possible visit to Arkansas.
LUNNEY EYES DEVIL DOG
Arkansas tight end coach Barry Lunney Jr. has made it to numerous high schools around the state since being hired Jan. 15, and Morrilton was one of his stops.
Devil Dogs Coach Cody McNabb said Lunney liked what he saw of quarterback Toney Hawkins, who rushed for 1,025 yards and 15 touchdowns and threw for 1,736 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.
“He’s a very good athlete, a very good baseball player as a well,” said McNabb, who reports the Hogs recruiting Hawkins as a defensive back. “I think growing up everybody thought he would play baseball in college or even possibly get drafted, but he has developed into a really good football player. He’s very athletic, does a lot of things well, runs the football and throws well. There’s a lot of things he can do.”
Hawkins, 6-1, 185, 4.5, also is drawing interest from Cincinnati, New Mexico and others. He had 27 receptions for 550 yards and 4 touchdowns as a sophomore.
“I would say he’s probably up there with anybody I’ve ever coached because he has all those tools,” McNabb said.
E-mail Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports, Pages 19 on 02/12/2013