THE RECRUITING GUY:

Touted lineman: Visit with Hogs ‘bumps them up’

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Arkansas associate head coach Sam Pittman during media day Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013 at the Fred W. Smith Football Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Anthony Reyes
Arkansas associate head coach Sam Pittman during media day Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013 at the Fred W. Smith Football Center in Fayetteville.

Highly recruited offensive lineman Gabe Megginson said he didn’t know what to expect before making his trip to Arkansas on Saturday.

He didn’t leave disappointed.

“Seeing the campus, meeting all of the coaches, it was a great time,” Megginson said.

Megginson, 6-5, 280, 5. 2 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Jacksonville, Ill., is rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and the No. 214 prospect overall.

He has 28scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Ohio State, Miami, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Penn State.

“Definitely really bumps them up,” he said of Arkansas.

Megginson has a 345-pound bench press, 300 power clean, 435 squat and 515 dead lift. He said he enjoyed visiting with strengthand conditioning coach Ben Herbert.

“He showed us the before and after pictures which was crazy impressive,” said Megginson, who’s being recruited by offensive line coach Sam Pittman. “I really got to see everything.”

Getting to meet Coach Bret Bielema was a hit with Megginson, who recently visited Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State and North Carolina State before making his way to Fayetteville.

“He’s such a chilled-out guy, I love him,” Megginson said. “He’s just a normal guy. I love how straight forward he is too.”

Megginson said he had hoped to make a return trip to Fayetteville for Saturday’s spring game.

“But I have prom next week so I won’t be able to make it,” he said.

Megginson said he was caught off guard by Arkansas’ football facilities.

“That’s insane,” Megginson said. “They’re brand new. They’re beautiful. They really put a lot of work into them.”

LAID-BACK VISIT

Highly regarded sophomore defensive end McTelvin Agim of Hope gave Coach Bret Bielema’s selection of footwear a thumbs up during Saturday’s visit.

“Coach Bielema had some slide sandals on when I first got there so that was real cool.” Agim said. “He’s real laid back and I like that about him. I’m laid back, too, so I like that.”

Agim, 6-3, 247, 4.68 seconds in the 40-yard dash, already has five scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Clemson, Baylor and Ole Miss. He was named the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sophomore Defensive Player of the Year after recording 77 tackles, including 32 tackles for loss and 16 sacks.

Bielema was in his office when he met with Agim.

“He shut the door and I was dang, it was like sitting in the principal’s office waiting,” said Agim, whose first offer came from the Hogs. “It was cool though.”

Several topics, including the recruiting process and academics, were discussed by Bielema.

“I held on to a lot of what he said,” Agim said.

Agim’s playmaking ability and athleticism gives him a chance to be one of the nation’s top 2016 prospects. The trip enhanced Arkansas’ shot at his services.

“It really did,” said Agim, who power cleaned 305pounds on Monday. “Arkansas was already up there. They’re still up there. They were the first school to look at me. So I think highly of Arkansas.”

IMPRESSED BY PRACTICE

The intensity of Saturday’s practice impressed Smackover sophomore receiver Jordan Jones.

“It was like ‘wow’,” Jones said. “The practice, the way guys were getting after it. The players were responding to the coaches. … Man, it was great. I had a great time.”

Jones, 6-1, 170, 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash, is drawing interest from Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Memphis and others. He was a member of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Super Sophomore team.

Jones said Coach Bret Bielema spoke well of his ability and seemed to indicate a scholarship offer could be in the works.

“He said he took a look at my film before I came,” Jones said. “He liked what he saw and told me to keep up the good work and keep my grades right so I can get a scholarship. He said he definitely thinks I’ll get a scholarship sometime soon.”

Jones caught 25 passes for 687 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed 21 times for 171 yards and 3 touchdowns last season. He returned 4 punts for 77 yards and 3 kickoffs for 91 yards.

Bielema did more than talk about football, Jones said.

“He’s a football coach, but he talks a lot about life and the classroom and telling his players to stay in school and do the right thing,” Jones said.

E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports, Pages 18 on 04/22/2014

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