Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Arkansas impresses Ota
Jonesboro defensive lineman Chuks Ota's visit to Arkansas on Saturday was a hit.
Ota, 6-2, 290, 5.06 seconds in the 40 yard dash, visited the Hogs for several games last season but was able to learn more about the program during the visit. Video highlights click here
"I had a great time," Ota said. "I really, really like the new coaching staff a lot. I really like (defensive line ) coach (Charlie) Partridge and Coach B (Bielema ) and all of them."
Ota, who made a 28 on his ACT and is the junior class president, liked Arkansas’ Football Academic Game Plan put in place to provide structure for the student-athlete.
"I need that kind of structure," Ota said. "I do a lot of things and usually lose sight of some stuff. Having someone plan it out helps a lot. They organize your week for you like day-by-day. It's really important considering you go to school to go to school not to play football . Just the fact they have so much invested in their academic program I like that a lot."
The weight room and strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert were also highlights of the trip.
"He seems like he really, really enjoys what he does," said Ota of Herbert. "If you buy into what he has to say he'll take you to the next level."
He praised Partridge's ability to make him feel comfortable.
"He's just down-to-earth," said Ota, who powered cleaned 335 pounds and bench press 385 during testing at his school. "He's just real easy to talk to. He's relatable too. He's not like one of those awkward coaches."
Ota had a similar opinion of Bielema.
"You can sit down and talk to him real easy," Ota said. "There's no weird introductory phase. You meet each other and from then on you're having conversations like you've been having conversations forever. he's a lot bigger than I thought he was too."
After talking to Bielema, Ota feels good about his chances of receiving a scholarship offer.
"He said they like my film and like my character a lot," Ota said. "I'm not sure about an offer but the way he was talking they'll offer sooner or later."