The Recruiting Guy:

Sotolongo considers following friend to Fayetteville

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Cornelius Floyd is a freshman at Arkansas.
Cornelius Floyd is a freshman at Arkansas.

Arkansas signed freshman cornerback Cornelius Floyd of Miami Gulliver Prep in February and is back at the school in hopes of landing safety Antonyo Sotolongo.

"It's kind of like an upper hand to where I could be going," Sotolongo said of Floyd being at Arkansas. "It's always nice to know someone."

Sotolongo, 6-0, 195 pounds, reports more than 25 scholarship offers, including ones from Arkansas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Duke and Tulane. Floyd has encouraged him to join him in Fayetteville.

"He likes Arkansas," said Sotolongo, who has a hand-held time of 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash. "He's saying it's a good school and I should come up there and play with him."

West Virginia, Tulane, Wake Forest and Duke are other schools he's looking to officially visit. Sotolongo was named to the Miami Herald All Miami-Dade 5A Independents first team squad as a junior.

National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network is high on Sotolongo's talent.

"A four-star prospect with five-star potential," Lemming said. "He shows solid instincts, a nose for the ball, quick hands and excellent ball skills. He does a great job of playing the ball in the air, showing good vision and instincts. He is a safety who understands angles and field leverage, [and] takes advantage of his knowledge."

Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon landed five signees in the 2014 class from south Florida. Sotolongo is aware of Shannon's history in the area and that adds to his comfort level with the Hogs.

"He's from Miami, so he knows what it's like to live out here and go other places," said Sotolongo, who has long-jumped 23 feet, 9 inches. "He has a lot of good things to say when it comes to recruiting."

Sotolongo, who had 74 tackles, 4 interceptions, 3 returned for touchdowns, and 8 pass breakups last year, is looking to study anthropology and sociology in college. He uses his interest in sociology on the football field.

"Example, me going against the receiver, just looking at their body language coming up to the line of scrimmage from a defensive backs' standpoint, you can tell if the receiver looks like he's lazy coming up to the line, he knows it's not going to him or it's a run play," Sotolongo said. "It's just those little things that you need to know in order to play the position."

Ready to run

Highly touted running back Reggie Gallaspy visited Arkansas on July 23-24 and came away impressed, but he remains undecided on whether he will take his five official visits or possibly make a quick decision.

Gallaspy, 5-11, 215, 4.50, of Greensboro (N.C.) Southern Guilford, narrowed his list of 17 scholarship offers to Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Duke, North Carolina State and Michigan State.

"Still figuring out my decision and still don't know if I'm taking officials out of state or not due to my games schedule," Gallaspy said.

He plans to take unofficial visits to North Carolina State and Duke during the season. About three weeks after his visit to Fayetteville, Gallaspy said he is still fond of the Hogs.

"I loved it there and can see myself playing there," Gallaspy said. "I can't pick one bad thing to say about the Razorbacks."

But he also said the distance to Fayetteville could cause a little concern.

"But not enough to not commit there," he said.

Gallaspy, who's rated a four-star prospect by national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network, rushed 282 times for 1,704 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior and 177 carries for 1,751 yards and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore.

He said he prefers to play in a pro-style offense like the one Arkansas uses.

"It's an offense set up for the running back to be what a running back is," Gallaspy said. "Spread is for offense with quarterbacks like Denard Robinson, who runs more than the running backs. That's what really stands out about Arkansas is the pro-style."

He's previously said running backs coach Joel Thomas is like a second father.

"He's a guy that'll treats you like you his own," Gallaspy said. "He doesn't lie to kids, so he won't lie to you."

The chance to play in the SEC is very attractive to Gallaspy.

"Arkansas is Running Back U and is in the best conference in the country," he said. "Having the opportunity to play at any SEC school is a blessing."

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Sports on 08/12/2014