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.
Smith hopes to keep Dupre in the family
One of the premier receivers Malachi Dupre in the nation has at least two people in his ear about Arkansas, including second cousin and Hog receivers coach Michael Smith.
Dupre, 6-3, 192, 4.4 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of River Ridge, (La.) John Curtis reports having more than 50 scholarship offers from schools like Arkansas, LSU, Miami, UCLA, Michigan and Notre Dame. His mother is first cousins with Smith's mother.
"He was saying with my athleticism and size and speed..... he was saying they want me," said Dupre of Smith. "The same thing other schools have told me, how they would utilize me in every way possible."
Dupre, who had 36 receptions for 816 yards and 15 touchdowns last year, said Hog offensive lineman Luke Charpentier, a John Curtis graduate, along with his father gave a strong endorsement of the Razorbacks.
"He was telling me how great it was so I just have to get out there and so how great my interest really is," Dupre said. "He and his dad said I have to get out there and I would enjoy it. They said they're building a new facility."
In Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Dupre described his relationship with Smith.
"That's my family, that's my cousin," Dupre said. "I know he was a great player himself. We already have a great relationship already because that's my family and besides that I know he's a good coach. Him recruiting me is a different situation because he's family."
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network said Dupre is an elite prospect who has a big upside.
"He'll probably gain about 20 pounds in the next two years," Lemming said. "He gets great separation right off of the snap. He gets himself open and catches the ball in stride and just takes off. He's a natural receiver."
Dupre, who will participate in The Opening, an event featuring 150 of the top prospects in the nation at Nike Headquarters in Oregon this summer, said he has developed numerous relationships with college coaches because of his father's ties.
"I have a lot of unique situations in recruiting," he said. "I have a lot of good friends of my dad that are head coaches at places. I feel like I owe a lot of people favors but the reality is you can't please everybody."
He said he and highly regarded teammates, linebacker Kenny Young, defensive backs Terrence Alexander and Mattrell McGraw plan to visit the Hogs this summer. Dupre said he may announce his college decision during the Under Amour All American game on Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.