Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Hackett a happy Hog after visit
Linebacker Khalia Hackett committed to Arkansas on July 29 without the benefit of seeing the campus. He was able to see his future school during an official visit last weekend for the Southern Miss game.
“I’m pleased,” Hackett said. “It exceeded my expectations. It was a really great visit.”
Hackett, 6-2, 208, 4.63 seconds on the 40 yards dash, of Douglasville, (Ga.) South Paulding picked the Razorbacks over about 18 other scholarship offers, including Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Syracuse.
“They just treated me well,” Hackett said. “It was just amazing atmosphere. I was around great people, great players.”
When Hackett pledged to the Hogs, he said cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson and linebackers coach Randy Shannon were like uncles to him.
“Coach Shannon, he’s real cool and laid back Coach Johnson knows what he’s talking about,” Hackett said. “He’s straight up with me. He’s a real cool guy and a good coach.”
His parents also made the trip and gave their approval.
“My parents loved it,” Hackett said. “They loved it. They just loved how they treated them. They loved being here and they loved the atmosphere. They loved the coaching staff and what they were all about and they were all about me.”
Freshman safety DeAndre Coley and sophomore linebacker Otha Peters were Hackett’s player-hosts for the weekend visit.
“They told me it was a great school,”Hackett said. “They love it out here. They love playing ball out here and they’re looking forward to me coming up and playing with them.”
Hackett, who has 22 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 2 pass deflections in two games this season, said Coach Bret Bielema told him he has a chance to be a great player at Arkansas.
“He’s seen me on film and I can do a lot of great things,” Hackett said. “With the right coaching and the right staff and with our coaching experience you’ll be able to go to the next level and still be able to attain a degree within three and half years.”
The Hogs also hosted highly recruited receiver Johnnie Dixon, safety Shawn Boone and defensive tackle Craig Evans. Hackett said all three liked their experience in Fayetteville.
“They were loving it, especially Craig,” Hackett said. “He was originally committed to Wisconsin but he decommitted after coach Bielema and them left and they started recruiting him down here again. They were his real reason for decommitting from Wisconsin and opening back his recruitment. He still wanted to weigh out his options because he has a real good relationship with the D-line coach there.”