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:
Bielema to visit with Pulaski Academy’s Henry
Special the the Arkansas Democrat Gazette/MATT JOHNSON - 11-01-2012- Pulaski Academy tight end, and Arkansas commit, Hunter Henry turns upfield during first-half action against Jacksonville on November 1, 2012.
LITTLE ROCK Pulaski Academy tight end Hunter Henry’s talent level and leadership skills were recognized during the week of practice for the Under Armour All-American Bowl that was played on Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Henry, 6-5, 235, 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash, was named the starting tight end for the White team and was voted one of the team captains by his teammates.
“It was awesome when I heard that,” Henry said of the starting slot. “Then also at the same time I heard I was going to be named captain. I was just stunned and blown away.”
Henry, named the nation’s top end prospect by CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, recorded 107 receptions for 1,449 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior. He said being named a captain was a result of giving maximum effort on the practice fields.
“How I got here was working hard and not taking days off.” said Henry, who has committed to Arkansas.
Henry was able to talk to Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema on his way home Saturday, and Henry was told Bielema would visit his school on Friday and do an in-home visit that afternoon.
Henry said Hogs offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Jim Chaney traveled to St. Petersburg on Friday and was able to talk to his parents.
North Little Rock running back Altee Tenpenny, who played in the U.S. Army All American Bowl game in San Antonio on Saturday, was along with his parents able to meet and talk to Arkansas running backs coach Joel Thomas after the game at the hotel.
Tenpenny, 5-11, 218, 4.32 seconds, is committed to Alabama but plans to make an official visit to Fayetteville on Jan. 18.
“He just wanted to sit down and talk to me and my parents face-to-face about what he’s planning to do with the running backs the next couple of years and how Arkansas will have an effective running game.” Tenpenny said.
Tenpenny, who rushed 203 times for 1,385 yards and 20 touchdowns this past season, said he and his parents were impressed with Thomas.
“I say the first impression is the best impression,” Tenpenny said. “I had a good first impression of him. He seemed like a real cool coach and a down-to-earth guy.”
The Semper Fidelis All-American combine, called the Proving Grounds, was attended by approximately 300 of the nation’s top 2014 prospects. One of top prospects, defensive lineman Enoch Smith Jr., said he is looking to visit Arkansas in the future.
Smith., 6-3, 265, 4.83 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Chicago, (Ill.) Mount Carmel, has approximately 10 scholarship offers, including Norte Dame, Illinois and Purdue. He was being recruited by Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash while at Wisconsin.
“He was telling me a lot about Wisconsin,” Smith said. “But now that he made the transition to Arkansas, hopefully we can continue our relationship and go further from there.”
Smith, who has family from his mother’s side living in Little Rock, said his relatives in Arkansas urge him to be a Razorback.
“Everything about Arkansas they love,” said Smith, who reports a 405-pound bench press and 545 squat. “If they play Alabama or a Big Ten team they would say the Big Ten team or anyone else would lose because they always want Arkansas to win.”
Arkansas junior-college signee Martrell Spaight and his father, Mark, met with former Miami head coach and new Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon on Friday morning.
Spaight, 6-0 1/2, 220, 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, was a 2011 graduate of North Little Rock High School before heading to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas where he earned first-team All-American honors.
“He seems like a great man the way that he talks about his players and relates to them,” Spaight said. “He was talking about a couple of players when he was coaching at Miami. He spoke to them like how my dad would speak to me. In order to play football for your coach that’s the type of relationship you really need.”
Spaight and his father met with Shannon before going to work at their family’s restaurant in Sherwood. Spaight has been helping out at the eatery while home for the holidays.
“The first day they had me cooking,” Spaight said. “Then my mom went out of town for a funeral so I had to work the register. I’m moving around, I’m mobile.”
Spaight said he was impressed with Shannon’s style.
“He came up dressed in a suit.” Spaight said.
Email Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports, Pages 19 on 01/08/2013