It’s wait and see for UA coaches

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Arkansas Razorbacks head football coach Bret Bielema talks with El Dorado High School's Bijhon Jackson, a Razorback commit, during a visit at El Dorado High School on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014.
Photo by Michael Orrell
Arkansas Razorbacks head football coach Bret Bielema talks with El Dorado High School's Bijhon Jackson, a Razorback commit, during a visit at El Dorado High School on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014.

Arkansas’ football team has 18 oral commitments for the 2014 class heading into the first day of the national signing period, but the Razorbacks are going to have to sweat out two or three others today who could give the class a boost.

Arkansas is still awaiting word on defensive end Solomon Thomas of Coppell, Texas, receiver Jojo Robinson of Miami Northwestern and cornerback Lamont Simmons of Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines.

Robinson, 6-0, 186 pounds,4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, is rated a three-star-plus recruit by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. He took an official visit to Fayetteville on Jan. 24 and is expected to choose between Arkansas, TCU and South Florida today. Robinson will make his announcement at 9 a.m.

Thomas, 6-3, 261, 4.7, is rated as a four-star prospect by Lemming and has narrowed his list of schools to Arkansas, Stanford and UCLA. Thomas, whose sister Ella is a student at Arkansas, is scheduled to reveal his decision at 7 a.m. on ESPNU.

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Simmons, 6-2, 175, 4.53, visited Arkansas on Jan. 18 and said the visit helped the Razorbacks’ chances of landing him. He is expected to choose between Arkansas, Penn State and Southern Cal, and he will make his announcement at 7:30 a.m.

Arkansas’ 18 oral commitments include five prospects from Arkansas, led by El Dorado defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson, and four each from the states of Florida and Louisiana.

Jackson, 6-2, 330, 5.1, orally committed to Arkansas on Dec. 20, 2012, and helped lead El Dorado to the Class 6A state championship this past season. He said he will fax his national letter of intent to Arkansas at 8:30 a.m. following his 8:10 signing ceremony at the school.

“It will awesome to officially be a Hog,” said Jackson, who is rated a four-star prospect by Lemming. “I don’t think it’ll feel much different for me because I’ve known all along that I wasn’t going to change my mind.”

The Razorbacks’ other four prospects from Arkansas are defensive end Jake Hall of Springdale Har-Ber, athlete Josh Liddell of Pine Bluff Dollarway, tight end Jack Kraus of Bentonville and running back Juan Day of North Little Rock.

Day, 6-2, 210, 4.5, is another four-star recruit who committed to the Hogs on Jan. 7, 2013, the same day he received his scholarship offer. He missed most of last season after injuring his knee Sept. 20 against Pine Bluff.

“I feel blessed to get to play football at the highest level,” said Day, who is expected to fax in his letter of intent at 7 a.m. “I can’t wait to get to campus and compete with the best and keep following my dreams.”

Miami Killian defensive end Anthony Brown, 6-3 ½ , 235, is a three-star prospect who chose Arkansas over Cincinnati, Michigan State, Mississippi State and others. He said he will fax his letter of intent shortly after the school’s signing ceremony at 8:30 a.m.

Defensive end Demetrius Jackson of Miami Booker T. Washington will sign with Miami or Arkansas at 7 a.m.Jackson is orally committed to Miami, but he took an official visit to Arkansas on Jan. 24.

Three high school prospects - quarterback Rafe Peavey of Bolivar, Mo., receiver Jared Cornelius of Shreveport Evangel and cornerback Chris Murphy of Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter, and a junior college recruit, receiver Cody Hollister of Arizona Western Community College, signed institutional financial aid agreements with the Razorbacks in December and are enrolled already.

The national signing period ends April 1.

Arkansas commitment list 2014 COMMITMENTS

POS., NAME HT. WT. 40 SCHOOL

DE Anthony Brown 6-3 ½ 235 NA Miami Killian

WR Jared Cornelius * 6-1 190 4.48 Shreveport Evangel

RB Juan Day 6-2 210 4.5 North Little Rock

WR Kendrick Edwards 6-6 200 4.6 Miami Norland

LB Dwayne Eugene 6-2 220 4.5 Metairie (La.) Rummel

CB Cornelius Floyd 6-1 175 4.48 Miami Gulliver Prep

LB Khalia Hackett 6-2 208 4.63 S. Paulding (Ga.)

DE Jake Hall 6-5 230 NA Springdale Har-Ber

K Cole Hedlund 5-10 170 NA Argyle, Texas

DL Bijhon Jackson 6-2 325 5.1 El Dorado

TE Jack Kraus 6-5 240 4.9 Bentonville

ATH Josh Liddell 6-1 198 4.43 Pine Bluff Dollarway

CB Chris Murphy * 5-10 180 4.4 Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter

QB Rafe Peavey * 6-2 208 4.5 Bolivar, Mo.

OL Jovan Pruitt 6-6 295 5.1 Dallas Bishop Dunne

OL Frank Ragnow 6-6 291 5.0 Victoria (Minn.) Chanhassen

DB Santos Ramirez 6-2 180 4.55 Shreveport Evangel

LB Randy Ramsey 6-3 210 4.57 Fort Lauderdale Dillard

CB Henre Toliver 6-1 180 4.56 Metairie (La.) Rummel

OL Brian Wallace 6-6 304 5.2 St. Louis Christian Brothers

DL Armon Watts 6-5 270 5.1 St. Louis Christian Brothers * Has signed an Institutional Financial Aid Agreement and enrolled

JUNIOR-COLLEGE SIGNEES

POS., NAME HT. WT. 40 SCHOOL

WR Cody Hollister 6-4 205 4.5 Arizona Western CC

OL Sebastian Tretola 6-4 ½ 315 4.9 Iowa Western CC

Sports, Pages 19 on 02/05/2014

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