Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Nettleton safety on Arkansas' radar
Nettleton safety Jaylin Small is one of several in-state juniors being evaluated by Arkansas and has a chance to earn a scholarship offer.
Hog tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. visited the school during the last week of the contact period and was able to view video of Small.
“He was very impressed,” Nettleton Coach Steve Hampton said. “They’re interested in getting Jaylin to their senior camp this summer so they can evaluate further so their defensive coaches can see him in person and see him run around.”
Small, 6-0, 185, shows outstanding acceleration and speed along with being a fierce and sure tackler. In addition to Arkansas, he’s drawing interest from Arkansas State, Memphis and Troy. Video highlights CLICK HERE
Because his mother is teacher, Hampton said Small is serious about his work in the classroom.
“Anytime you have a parent that’s an educator, you know they value education,” Hampton said. “They value going to class and doing the little things correctly so that’s always a plus.”
Small, who had 80 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5 pass deflections, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble this past season, plans to attend Arkansas’ June camp. He enjoys playing on the defensive side of the ball.
“You can change the outcome of any game with a quick interception, a quick fumble recovery,” Small said. “You can score a touchdown on defense. You can play offense on defense.”
Small has a 3.25 grade point average and has plans to major is social work so he can help people of all ages.
“I just like helping people,” Small said. “I can’t explain it. Just growing up and seeing my mom. She’s a single parent and whenever I see her struggling, I help her out and I see her smile. It’s just the greatest feeling I could ever have.”