Linebacker, pledged to LSU, has UA on radar

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon has highly sought receiver Ryeshene Bronson planning an official visit to Fayetteville.
Photo by Michael Woods
Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon has highly sought receiver Ryeshene Bronson planning an official visit to Fayetteville.

Linebacker Sharieff Rhaheed, who has committed to LSU and hopes to visit Arkansas this summer, said he has several reasons why he’s impressed with Razorbacks linebackers coach Randy Shannon.

“His resume at Miami,” Rhaheed said. “I grew up watching Miami. The players he coached, playing his style. He’s going to use some of the Miami concepts with his guys. They’re in the SEC, they’re rebuilding and I can play early.”

Rhaheed, 6-4, 207 pounds, 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Fort Pierce (Fla.) Fort Pierce Central reports 13 scholarship offers, including ones from Arkansas, LSU, Alabama, Tennessee and Penn State. He said Shannon, who visited his school Monday, is giving him the lowdown on the Hogs.

“I like Coach Shannon,” Rhaheed said. “I really don’t know much about the school unless I do some research from what coach Shannon told me. There’s a possibility that I could go there.”

Arkansas is one of several schools Rhaheed said he is wanting to check out this summer.

“My coach is taking me on a college tour over the summer,” Rhaheed said.

Rhaheed said Shannon sees him as an outside linebacker/defensive end type.

“He said I could rush the passer and drop back into coverage,” Rhaheed said.

Rhaheed, who transferred to Fort Pierce Central last summer, recorded 83 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and 9 sacks at linebacker after previously playing defensive end.

“When I first started feeling comfortable was like the seventh to eighth game,” Rhaheed said. “I knew what to do but I wasn’t comfortable in the scheme. When I understood the scheme and my job, that’s when it all hit me. Like in a week it was different me.”

What would it take for him to switch his commitment from LSU?

“I can’t answer that,” he said. “I’d have to see it and then compare it to LSU.”PEAVEY IMPRESSES DILFER

Elite 11 head coach and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer said Arkansas quarterback commitment Rafe Peavey was one of the top performers among the 64 quarterbacks at the Chicago Elite regional competition May 3.

Dilfer said Peavey did well while dealing with the many challenges given the quarterbacks during the competition.

“It exposes whether or not they’ll be able to adapt properly,” Dilfer said. “He adapted very well. I was very impressed with him. He was in the top four or five the entire day.”

Peavey, 6-2, 207, 4.5, of Bolivar, Mo., gave the Hogs their first commitment for the 2014 class last summer.

Only one quarterback, Kyle Allen of Scottsdale, Ariz., has received an invite to the Elite 11 finals in Beaverton, Ore. but Peavey made a strong case in his hopes of securing a spot to the prestigious event.

“You had two kids that had phenomenal days in front of him, Kyle Allen and David Blough,” Dilfer said. “But I would say Rafe, Nick Mitchell and Drew Barker were neck-to-neck, neck-toneck, neck-to-neck for the three spot.”

Because this year’s finals will be combined with The Opening, an event that features the nation’s top 150prospects, only 18 quarterbacks will be selected to participate. Peavey also attended the Dallas Elite 11 Regional on April 6.

Dilfer has selected five quarterbacks for the national competition.

“The good thing Rafe has going for him is he has great tape,” Dilfer said. “He’s had one solid performance and one excellent performance so that typically bodes well.”‘SKY IS THE LIMIT’

Russellville tight end/Hback Drew Smith’s ability to attract attention from colleges was diminished after he suffered a broken leg last year, but Cyclones Coach Jeff Holt said he has little doubt Smith is a Division I prospect.

Smith, 6-3, 215, caught 11 passes for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns in three games before the injury.

“He’s a 4.6 [40 yard dash] guy. He’s a 30-plus vertical [leap] guy,” Holt said. “He’s got the tools. I think the skyis the limit for him. He’s just going to keep getting better. He’s going to get bigger and stronger. He plays basketball, too. So he’s never really been able to fully commit to the weight room.”

Holt said Smith has the frame to add more weight.

“The thing about it, he’s going to be able to carry some weight and keep the athletic ability and speed,” Holt said. “That’s what’s so enticing about him. He’s a big kid, but he can run and jump, so he’s going to cause problems for a lot of defenses. “

Smith, who attended Arkansas’ Red-White scrimmage in April, is being recruited by tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr., who has visited the school during the spring evaluation period.

E-mail Richard Davenport at

Sports, Pages 36 on 05/12/2013