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.
Skipper, towering lineman, says yes to Razorbacks
Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman, who coached at Tennessee in 2012, was pivotal in Dan Skipper's decision to switch verbal commitments from the Volunteers to the Razorbacks. (Chattanooga Times/Patrick Smith)
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas received three oral commitments Sunday and added a fourth on Monday when highly recruited offensive lineman Dan Skipper went public with his pledge to the Hogs.
Skipper, 6-10, 295, 4.97 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Arvada, (Colo.) Ralston Valley officially visited on Fayetteville on Jan. 17-19. He also made visits to Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State and Ole Miss.
“I felt at home there,” Skipper said of Arkansas. “The new coaching staff and academic support staff and the campus were full of passion and love of football. It felt like the best decision, and I’m going to call myself a Razorback.”
All-SEC second-team center Travis Swanson, who was Skipper’s player-host for the visit, earned praise as did the team’s other offensive linemen.
“He took me around and I met everyone the first night,” Skipper said. “I really liked how they were football players but they were with other kids that didn’t play for football. I think that speaks volumes about the fact you can live with kids that aren’t football players.”
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Skipper committed to Tennessee in June 2012 when offensive line coach Sam Pittman and offensive coordinator and quarterback Jim Chaney were on the Volunteers’ staff.
“I’ve known Coach Pittman and Coach Chaney for a long period of time and I knew that relationship was good,” said Skipper, who was accompanied by his parents, Ken and Brigid, on all of his official visits. “The question was Coach Bielema. Obviously he’s had a lot of success with offensive linemen at Wisconsin.”
Skipper said he plans to major in engineering and liked what he saw and heard about the department and the academic support student-athletes have at Arkansas.
“They have football players in engineering, and they know what it takes and the struggles that come with that.” Skipper said.
Skipper, who’s rated a four-star prospect by CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, is the Hogs’ No. 17 commitment for the 2013 class. Oral commitments are nonbinding.
Sports, Pages 20 on 01/29/2013