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:
Frazier knocked out by UA visit
Springdale Har-Ber defensive tackle Josh Frazier (right) is one of the top defensive tackles in the country.
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and his staff wowed Springdale Har-Ber junior defensive lineman Josh Frazier and his mother Donna during a Sunday visit to the campus.
“They had this whole thing planned out,” Frazier said. “Coach Bielema talked to my mom and I for an hour or so. They had this flier and had it planned out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I pretty much met all the coaches. I’m glad to see Coach [Bobby] Allen back and Coach Taver [Johnson].”
Frazier, 6-4, 324 pounds, 5.1 seconds in the 40-yard dash, reports scholarship offers from Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn and Arkansas State and is drawing interest from numerous others. He was named Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All Arkansas after recording 65 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and a forced fumble.
Sunday’s trip was the first time Frazier and his mother were able to meet Bielema. Frazier said the visit was unlike others he previously experienced at Arkansas.
“He’s really a down-to earth guy, really genuine,” Frazier said. “I really believe what he’s saying that he wants to be at Arkansas. It was a totally different experience. It just felt genuine like I was going inside my house to talk to some of my friends.”
Arkansas’ academic structure impressed Frazier and his mother.
“They have tutors and a book for the players,” said Frazier, who’s rated the No. 85 junior prospect in the nation by CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “And have a schedule and everything on there to help them balance out their day and help them succeed and get that degree.”
Frazier said he liked his discussions with Hogs strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge.
“He’s like another Coach Bielema,” Frazier said of Partridge. “Again, really down-to earth.”
Donna Frazier said she would like to see her son at Arkansas, but Josh said see he wants to see how the Hogs perform this season and isn’t ready to make a decision.
“There’s other schools I want to have a chance to go out and see,” Frazier said.
Arkansas will get an official visit from one of the top offensive linemen in Florida when Denver Kirkland shows up in Fayetteville on Jan. 25.
Kirkland, 6-5, 320, of Miami Washington has officially visited Ole Miss, Florida State, South Florida and has a visit set for Miami.
“He runs well for his size,”Washington Coach Tim Harris said. “That’s one thing schools say about him. The way he runs and moves laterally and shows great footwork.”
Former Miami Coach Randy Shannon, the Hogs’ linebacker coach, is Kirkland’s lead recruiter. Harris, who was an administrative assistant for Shannon at Miami, said the Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema has put together a strong staff.
“He’s bringing in a great staff overall,” Harris said. “But Coach Shannon will be a great asset to what he’s going to do with his program at Arkansas.”
Defensive lineman Ke’tyrus Marks, 6-2, 285, 4.9, of Riviera Beach (Fla.) Suncoast is high on the Hogs and said he probably plans to make an oral commitment during his Jan. 25 official visit.
“I love that program,” said Marks, who reports having six scholarship offers, including ones from Arkansas, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Western Kentucky and Massachusetts. “I love everything about it. It’s my top school.”
Defensive line coach Charlie Partridge made an in-home visit with Marks on Friday and is a big hit with him.
“I like the fact that he’s down-to-earth,” Marks said. “I like the fact he’s very straightforward and he’s very honest. I also like his personality. He’s just a great guy to be around, he makes you want to be around him. He represents Arkansas very well. “
Greenwood athlete Drew Morgan, who committed to Arkansas in early December, received an in-home visit from receivers coach George McDonald on Sunday.
Morgan, 6-0, 180, 4.5, was offered a scholarship by Auburn on Friday and is considering a visit. The meeting with McDonald made it tougher for the Tigers.
“He really hit the target right on the bull’s-eye,” Morgan said. “He was perfect with his words. He said everything right, everything I wanted to hear. He talked for a long time, but I’ll tell you what, it was everything I wanted to hear and everything I enjoyed hearing.He’s really funny and he had us laughing the whole time.”
Before being offered by Arkansas, Morgan was committed to Arkansas State when Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn was the Red Wolves’ coach. Tigers assistant coaches Rhett Lashlee and Tim Horton are expected to visit Morgan at school Thursday.
“It made me want to commit again,” Morgan said of McDonald’s visit. “Auburn has offered and you have to consider everything because you never know what’s going to happen in the next couple of weeks. They could be like ‘Hey, Drew we don’t want you.’ ”
E-mail Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports, Pages 18 on 01/15/2013