Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Froholdt and parents give visit high marks
Lisa, Hjalte and Hans Froholdt enjoyed their time in Fayetteville.
Arkansas hosted one of the more physically gifted defensive line prospects in the 2015 class when Danish defensive end Hjalte Froholdt and his parents visited the Razorbacks over the weekend.
Froholdt, 6-5, 275 pounds is ESPN’s No. 14 prospect in the 2015 class and is a major target of the Hogs. He and his father, Hans visited Fayetteville in May, but was joined by his mother, Lisa on the latest visit.
He was able to experience his first live Hog Call during Saturday’s game against South Carolina.
“It was awesome,” Froholdt said. “Everyone just getting their hands in the air and you’re like ‘Yeah this is turn up’.”
Froholdt arrived in the United States as an exchange student and showed up at Warren (Ohio) Harding High School at the start of two-a-days in August of 2012. He soon became a starter at tight end and defensive end along with being the team’s punter.
He returned to Denmark for his junior year and is playing for club football for the Gold Diggers of Sollerod.
Froholdt and his parents arrived in Fayetteville about 1 a.m. Saturday morning after about 26 hours of traveling from Denmark. They started their visit about six hours later in the Miller Room inside the Broyles complex with breakfast with other recruits and Arkansas coaches, including defensive line coach Charlie Partridge.
“It was just short,” Froholdt said of the meeting with Partridge. “It was what he was doing and how he got here and what he wants to do at the school and talked about his kids. He’s a good coach and I like talking to him.”
He and his parents heard good things about Arkansas from two Razorback golfers, senior Sebastian Cappelen and junior Thomas Sorensen from Denmark. While both will be gone if Froholdt attended Arkansas, another Danish golfer is expected to arrive next year.
“It’s great feeling and also you can relate to some of the Danish guys there,” Froholdt said. “That would be great to talk some Danish. You can actually miss it.”
Froholdt and his parents were impressed that Coach Bret Bielema took about 10 minutes of his time to talk to them before the game.
“It was right before he game,” Froholdt said. “It was about 20 minutes before kickoff I think. We talked to him quick and he said thanks for coming.”
He was recognized by the Hogs fans prior to the game.
“A few did, a few did,” he said. “When we walked to our seats a few did actually say look that’s the Danish guy.”
Lisa Froholdt said she would approve of her son being a student-athlete at Arkansas. She heard good reviews about Arkansas from Hjalte and her husband after thier May visit.
“It’s different being here and feeling it and meeting the people,” she said. “You can’t get that from Hanson and Hjalte telling me that. But yeah, being here you get the feel.”
She was impressed with the academic counselors they met on Saturday.
“Hjalte is looking into studying kinesiology,” Lisa Froholdt said. “I think those talks went really well.”
Bielema spending time with them prior to the game made a big impression on her.
“I mean ten minutes before the game and he can take time out to talk to us,” Lisa said. “He’s not nervous or jumpy or anything.”
The game day atmosphere was a hit with Hans.
“Coming from a country like ours and coming in here where it’s very hyped,” Hans said. “There’s football everywhere and coming to the stadium it was great. It’s totally great.”
On Sunday, the Froholdts started their day about 11 a.m. and focused on touring the facilities and the campus. Hjalte enjoyed seeing the completed football complex.
“We saw it the last time and it was under construction,” Hjalte said. “It looks really good inside. The equipment room, I saw what they had before to what they have now. Everything has just got huge and much more room to operate in. The player’s lounge and their locker room was also great.”
“The training room was just huge with all of the hot and cold tubs and the training tables and so forth. It looked great. Really great.”
Froholdt and his parents met with six players, two freshman, three seniors and a junior, Sam Irwin-Hill.
“They talked about their experience at Arkansas and the new coaching staff,” Froholdt said. “Some of the freshmen just coming in, they loved it. They just love everything about it.”
The day ended with a meeting with Bielema.
“He’s just a great guy and he talked about the whole of coming from Wisconsin,” Froholdt said. “We talked about how it would be with me being at Arkansas. I told him the score from yesterday (Saturday) didn’t reflect in any way shape or form on how I look at Arkansas. I know they’ve been through a rough patch and it’s totally different scheme from last year.”
After two trips to Arkansas, Hans Froholdt is fine with his son being in Fayetteville.
“What I’ve seen until now it’s a very good place,” Hans said. “I would be happy for him being here.”
Before arriving in the United States for a week of visits that started in Arkansas, Froholdt listed Arkansas, Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan as his top schools.
He and his parents visited Alabama and Florida State after leaving Fayetteville. He received an offer from the Crimson Tide while the Seminoles didn’t offer.
Froholdt, who will spend time at Harding High School before visiting Michigan this weekend, plans to cut his list soon after his tour and hopes to make a decision soon afterward.