Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Cantrell stays firm with Hogs after OU offer
Razorback fans were glad to hear Roland, Okla. tight end Austin Cantrell, an Arkansas commitment, wasn’t swayed by an Oklahoma offer last week.
Cantrell, 6-31/2, 249, 4.58 seconds in the 40 yard dash, along with his parents returned to Fayetteville on Saturday to take in the Red-White spring game. Switching his pledge from tyne Hogs to Oklahoma didn’t cross his mind.
“I get up there, I get excited about being a Razorback,” said Cantrell, whose lead recruiter is tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. “That atmosphere, all the fans and talk to the coaches. Meeting new people, meeting some of those recruits was a big deal. Just knowing who I'll be playing with.”
He was able to meet Razorback commitments, quarterback Ty Storey and offensive lineman Zach Rogers. He also met a rapid Hog fan from Oklahoma while at the game.
“He was excited that I committed and that talent like me is coming out Roland,” Cantrell said. “He said he never would've thought that.”
Cantrell had 9 receptions for 268 yards, an average of 29.7 yards per catch and 2 touchdowns last year along with 334 yards and 9 touchdowns on 41 rushes.
His classmates urged him to take a hard look at Oklahoma.
“They'll say OU is a good team and tell me I should go to OU,” he said. “Honestly, it's my decision, doesn't really affect me too much.”
When Cantrell committed to the Hogs on March 24, he credited his relationship with Coach Bret Bielema as a big key.
“He's a great guy,” Cantrell said. “I love talking to him, love being around him. Hopefully I can make him happy.”
Cantrell has recorded a best of 11.3 seconds in the 100 meters, but believes he could go lower. His teammate was clocked at 10.87 seconds at meet on Friday.
“When we were running those 40’s and I got that 4.5, I ran with him and I was actually beating him,” Cantrell said. “So hopefully around a 10.8.”