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.
Mixon's relationship with Thomas helping Hogs' chances
One of the hottest prospects in the nation, running back Joe Mixon is in steady contact with Arkansas running backs coach Joel Thomas and hopes to visit in the future.
Mixon, 6-2, 210, 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Oakley, (Ca.) Freedom adds scholarship offers on a daily basis and is now past 30 offers, including one from the Razorbacks, who extended an offer on Jan. 27.
"Coach Thomas and I have been keeping a close relationship with each other and touching bases every week," said Mixon, who has also spoken to offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. "Probably at least twice a week. Building a relationship and talking to the other coaches about how the program is and how they're going to run it around me if I come there. "
Thomas' approach is straight forward and Mixon appreciates that.
"He's honest with us," Mixon said. "He keeps it real and not be fake like some of the other coaches. He's telling you like it is and you have to deal with it."
Mixon rushed 201 times for 1,443 yards and 20 touchdowns while catching 18 passes for 383 yards and 6 touchdowns as a junior. He also had 10 pancake blocks. As a sophomore, he had 174 carries for 1,134 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Razorback fans and Coach Bret Bielema 's focus on the running game has Mixon looking to make an unofficial or an official visit for a game in the fall.
"They have a big fan base on Twitter," Mixon said laughing. "A big fan base and they love the players. The coaches are nice and very cool. They utilize their running backs very well. I really want to see that in action next year. Hopefully I'll get to see it during a game sometime. "
Mixon, who has a 3.0 grade point average and is eyeing business management as a major, knows what will lure him in.
"It's basically going to come down to academic wise and how they will help me get to the next level ," Mixon said. "Playing time and a good relationship with the coaches."
He said he's hoping attend junior days at Southern Cal and California in the near future but said location won't be an issue.
"It doesn't matter where I go," Mixon said. "As long as I have the right coaches and the right people around me and they'll take care of me the next three to four years then I'll be good. I won't have a problem going anywhere."
The SEC and the seven straight national championships intrigues Mixon.
"That's the best of the best," Mixon said. "If it comes down to it and I was really going to take my game to the next level I guess that's what's going to have to happen."