North Carolina duo visiting Hogs today

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Sophomore prospects, receiver Conner O'Donnell and running back Robert Washington will be visiting Arkansas today.
Sophomore prospects, receiver Conner O'Donnell and running back Robert Washington will be visiting Arkansas today.

The recruiting touch of graduate assistant Terrance Butler and a recommendation from a friend has two sophomore prospects and Mississippi State commitments, running back Robert Washington and receiver Conner O'Donnell anxious for today's visit to Arkansas.

The Hogs hosted Oxford, (Miss.) Lafayette sophomore offensive lineman Eli Johnson a few weeks ago and impressed the young lineman.

Johnson, Washington, and O'Donnell played together on the USA Under-15 National Football team last summer.

"He said the facilities and weight room and the training room and the campus was just beautiful," said Washington, who was to arrive in Fayetteville about 9:30 a.m. "All of the facilities were just top-notch. That's mainly what I'm looking for the facilities and can I see myself here. Can I see myself lifting weights? Can I see myself running on the field? He said the facilities were amazing and I'm going to take his work for it."

Washington, 5-10, 190, 4.56 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Southlake Christian Academy in Huntersville, North Carolina reports other scholarship offers from Ole Miss, Arizona State, North Carolina, Akron, Syracuse, and UCLA.

"I'm looking forward to meeting all of the coaches," Washington said. "I've been talking to coach Butler for some months now I'm looking forward to meeting him in person and talking to the head coach and my position coach."

Washington, who rushed 89 times for 1,017 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, said Butler is a key reason for his visit to Fayetteville.

"Coach Butler is very cool," he said. "I've built a very good relationship with coach Butler. He's one of those coaches I can see myself being comfortable with and talking to. You don't find many coaches like that. It's just not football I can talk to him about school and anything else. He tells me the God honest truth and I love that."

Southlake Christian Academy Coach Bub O'Donnell, who will accompany the two prospects on the visit, said Washington is a different type of talent.

"He's a great specimen physically and I think when you look at him and see him even walk on the field he has an aura about him," said O'Donnell, who's the father of Conner. "He's very confident and he's physically strong as a youngster."

Washington, who has a 3.5 grade point average, is eyeing pre-med and becoming a cardiologist. He's also attracted to the Hogs because of Coach Bret Bielema's style of play while at Wisconsin.

"That's the type of offense," Washington said. "I like the way they featured Montee Ball. That's the type of offense I like, one that's features the running back."

O'Donnell, 5-11, 150, 4.61 seconds in the 40 yard dash, was second in the nation among freshmen receivers playing varsity ball in total yardage with 919 yards. He led the nation with a 24.1 yards per catch among his class.

The Mississippi State lead recruiter liked his son, said O'Donnell.

"The recruiting coach there said the kid runs precised routes and he catches everything that's thrown near him," O'Donnell said.

O'Donnell compared Conner's upside to a promising stock being traded on Wall Street.

"He's someone you buy and he grows into his frame," said the elder O'Donnell said. "His hands are extremely large. It's almost freakish how big his hands are. He's been told he's a classic possession receiver and he would fit in well into a NFL style offense. He's a fantastic blocker on the edge but if you throw him the ball he's going to get open and catch it."

O'Donnell has also been impressed with Butler.

"I don't know what coach Butler gets paid but he doesn't get paid enough, "O'Donnell said. "He's a great guy and he's been very accommodating and upfront with us."


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