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.
Pruitt thinks highly of Hogs after visit
Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman helps kids work on their blocking skills during the University of Arkansas Youth Football Camp at the University of Arkansas.
Arkansas appears to have made a major move in their pursuit of highly regarded offensive lineman Jovan Pruitt. He visited the Hogs on Saturday and Sunday and came away impressed.
"There’s nothing in particular that impressed me," Pruitt said. "Everything, it’s just overwhelming."
Pruitt, 6-6, 295 pounds, 5.2 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Dallas Bishop Dunne high school reports more than 10 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Alabama, Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Baylor. He heard positive reviews about Coach Bret Bielema and his staff from several of the Razorback freshmen.
"Hearing that from them and hearing that from some of the other players lets me know that a lot of progress can be made here," Pruitt said.
Pruitt is being recruited by running backs coach Joel Thomas and offensive line coach Sam Pittman.
"He’s just like us," said Pruitt of Pittman. "He’s a big kid, but he really gets down to it at the end of the day. Just a great coach. Just really learning what he does to help make his players better, like he did at Tennessee. They went from being one of the worst O-lines to being one of the best passing efficient O-lines in the SEC, and that’s big. It just really shows what his work did for him."
He said Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Ole Miss are his top schools. The Arkansas campus gave him a good feeling about the Hogs.
"I really didn’t get to go outside the buildings and explore them much," Pruitt said. "But I really wanted to. lt was a really nice campus. The environment is just so beautiful here. Everything is just really good."
Dallas Bishop Dunne Coach Michael Johnson said he's been to lots of colleges but called Arkansas a special place.
"They want to be one of the most power running football teams, and they’re putting that in place here now," Johnson said. "I see it and they’re mapping out a great plan for it. There’s great things coming out of Arkansas, and I’m very impressed with it."
Johnson said Pruitt has an outstanding work ethic.
"For him to be 340 pounds as a sophomore to get himself down to 265, now to 296, he has an extreme work ethic," Johnson said. "Everybody knows that he’s freakishly talented. You can see that on film. But he didn’t get there by just resting off his talents. He got there by hard work. He still has much to improve, but his work ethic is by far one of the best I’ve seen. I’ve coached a lot of great players, and he has the drive to be the best."
Pruitt has a low key demeanor.
"Everybody knows that he’s quiet," Johnson said. "If you meet him, talk to him, he’s very reserved. He’s a humble kid. He’s not a kid that’s going to boast about himself. He’s not a kid that’s going to boast about I got this offer, I got that offer. He takes it in one day at a time. He’s unique in that way."
Pruitt, who plans to visit Texas Tech on June 22, said he has no time frame on a decision.
"Still taking it one step at a time," he said.
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