Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
LB Yeargin planning Arkansas visit
Linebacker Richard Yeargin III plans to visit the Hogs because of his relationship with defensive line coach Charlie Partridge.
One of Florida's top prospects, linebacker Richard Yeargin III has Arkansas high on his list because defensive line coach Charlie Partridge was the first to offer him a scholarship while at Wisconsin.
Yeargin, 6-4, 230, 4.6 seconds of Fort Lauderdale, (Fla.) University School received the offer from Partridge during the second semester of his sophomore year. The Razorbacks extended an offer last week.
"It just felt good to be reunited with that coaching staff again and knowing they still kept their word," Yeargin said. "That meant a lot because some coaches forget you when they get some place new and higher up and be like we offered you here but we don't remember you now. Those guys are loyal and genuine and the offer was still on the table and were still happy as ever to offer me than they were the first time."
In Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Yeargin said the Hogs will get an official visit if he doesn't visit Fayetteville during the summer.
Yeargin played last season at Chaminade Madonna college prep in Hollywood before transferring to University high school.
"We played against him last year and he's definitely a force to reckon with," said University School Coach Roger Harriott. "He has a long frame."
Within hours of Partridge offering him at Wisconsin, Yeargin also received offers from Clemson and Wake Forest. He now has approximately 20 offers, including Florida, Clemson, UCLA and Tennessee.
"It's kind of taking off," said Yeargin of his offers. "Taking off in a direction that's kind of crazy but it's not going anywhere but to the top."
Yeargin's respect for Partridge doesn't only stem from being the first to offer but also because of the steady contact and personal touch.
"Even if I don't end up at Arkansas, which I hope I do," Yeargin said. "I can seriously say that would be a school I would really look into and spend the next four years there. But even if I don't, I know that's someone who looked at me and was a great guy. He's stayed consistent and he stayed on top of things."
Yeargin is looking forward to speaking with Coach Bret Bielema and defensive coordinator Chris Ash.
"I just want to get a feel and get up there and see things," Yeargin said. "I've never been to Wisconsin but now that Arkansas is in the SEC which is somewhere I see myself playing . That just made me that much more interested and ready to talk to those coaches."
Longevity in football is rare because of the physical nature of the game and Yeargin is aware of that and is looking beyond his playing days. He has a 3.8 grade point average and planning to study business in college and has his sights on becoming a defense attorney.
"I grew up watching Law and Order and different things like that," he said. "That kind of inspired me to one day be like that in case football doesn't work out. Injuries are prone to happen. That gives me an extra idea to fall back on in case that doesn't work out."
Yeargin is focused on education, a stable coaching staff and a program with a winning tradition when picking his school.
"This is an unofficial top five I guess you could say, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, UCLA and Tennessee." Yeargin said.
His decision won't be known until signing day.
"The night before signing day I will release my top there and on signing day I'll make my decision." Yeargin said.