Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
THE RECRUITING GUY:
UA intent on Alabama lineman
Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman talks with the media before a private Signing Day in the Rock event Thursday evening in Little Rock.
Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman has extended a scholarship offer to junior offensive lineman Tyler Carr, who’s on CBS Sports Network Tom Lemming’s early list of top 2015 prospects in the nation.
Carr, 6-5, 320, 5.2 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Southside, Ala., started to communicate on Twitter with Pittman on Wednesday, national signing day and received his offer on Saturday.
“I was pretty excited about that,” Carr said. “I was really thrilled.”
Carr had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Penn State before Arkansas offered. Offensive line graduate assistant Eric Mateos was Carr’s first contact at Arkansas.
“He followed me on Twitter and I’ve been messaging him a lot,” Carr said. “I was telling him I would be very interested in Arkansas. We’ve messaged back and forth for several months now. He was telling me that Coach Pittman was a very old-school type of guy and he likes to finish up one recruiting class before he starts on another. He was telling me to be patient with him and give it some time.”
Carr, who has a 300-pound bench press, 475 squat and has recorded a 4.65 seconds in the pro-shuttle, recorded 84 pancake blocks in 10 games this past season. He said Pittman is confident Arkansas is the school for him.
“He was telling me no college team out there was a better offer than Arkansas, and the only team that can offer anything better is the Dallas Cowboys,” Carr said. “He said he didn’t care, he was going to find a way to get me there. That was pretty cool to hear.”
Carr said Pittman told him of plans to visit his school twice during the spring evaluation period that starts April 15 and ends May 31.
“I told him I would probably come out in May or June after spring training and during the summer,” said Carr of a visit to Fayetteville. “I can usually find some time in there.”
Carr, whose father attended Auburn, said he’s not a lock to sign with the Crimson Tide or Tigers.
“It’s not necessarily about in-state schools,” Carr said. “It’s about the school that’s going to best fit me for the next four years of my life.
That’s kind of the way I’m looking at it and trying to find the school that’s going to fit me.”
A school’s offensive line coach and its atmosphere is at the top of Carr’s list of needs.
“The offensive line coach will be a big deal for me,” Carr said. “I know coaches can change a lot, but if I’m going to have to live the next four years of my life with a guy day in and day out, I really need to be comfortable around him and know him and be able to talk to him a lot.”LOUISIANA LINEMAN TO SIGN?
Arkansas could add defensive lineman Tae Thibodeaux, who plans to make an official visit to Fayetteville on Feb. 21, to the 2014 class.
Thibodeaux, 6-2, 275, 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of New Iberia, (La.) Westgate, had scholarship offers from schools lile Wake Forest, Nevada, Tulane and Louisiana-Monroe leading up to signing day, but was holding out for the possibility of others. Arkansas and Louisville joined in the mix with late offers.
Receivers coach Michael Smith talked to Thibodeaux last Tuesday night and extended the offer. Thibodeaux said there’s a good chance he’ll commit to Arkansas on his visit.
“Coach Smith wants me to see the place before I sign,” said Thibodeaux, who wrapped an official visit to Louisville on Monday. “He said he wouldn’t want his child to sign somewhere he hadn’t seen yet.”
Thibodeaux said he is looking forward to seeing if the Razorbacks are a good fit.
“I want a brotherhood,” he said. “I want to see how well the players interact with each other. It’s an SEC program, not too far away from home.”
Thibodeaux recorded 68 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 22 quarterback hurries, 6 forced fumbles and 4 recovered fumbles this past season while seeing the double-teams on a regular basis.
“He’s a dynamic player,” Westgate Coach Ryan Antoine said. “His motor never stops. You can’t block him 1-on-1 and he just makes everyone else around him better. He works on everything he needs to work on to get better everyday. He’s just an all around great kid on and off the field.”,
Antoine said Thibodeaux, a 3.5 grade point average student, is serious about his academics and often helps others with their studies.
“He studies before games,” Antonie said. “He’s just that kind of kid that real focused on academics and getting out of New Iberia and doing something better for himself.”
E-mail Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports, Pages 16 on 02/11/2014