Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Hog coaches sway FB to Fayetteville
Pulaski Academy's Tyler Colquitt (23) drags Jacksonville defender Robert Harris (2) during the second quarter of Friday night's game in Little Rock. Special to the Democrat-Gazette/JIMMY JONES
Fullback Tyler Colquitt of Pulaski Academy said his faith and the Arkansas coaches helped convince him to walk-on and become a Razorback.
“A lot of prayer and I talked to the coaches and they made me feel welcomed,” Colquitt said. “They made me feel like I would have a very good chance to earn a scholarship early. I feel like I could excel.”
Colquitt, 5-11, 235 pounds, 4.60 seconds in the 40-yard dash, played linebacker and running back for the Bruins and was named an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas selection. Running backs coach Joel Thomas told Colquitt the Hogs needed him.
“He said you need to be good at blocking, but also out in the flats with us throwing to you opens up a lot of stuff,” said Colquitt, who had scholarship offers from Central Arkansas and Murray State. “He was like right now we don’t have a for sure fullback for next season and we need somebody to come in and play that position for us.”
He recorded 74 unassisted tackles, 29 assisted tackles, 3 sacks and 2 interceptions at linebacker and rushed 38 times for 374 yards, a 9.47 yard per-carry average and 7 touchdowns this past season.
Thomas along with Coach Bret Bielema and tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. visited Pulaski Academy during the contact period. Colquitt talked to Bielema several times on the phone.
“He just seems like a real good coach and a really good guy and someone you can trust and wouldn’t screw you over or anything like that,” said Colquitt, who reports a 330-pound bench press, a 490-pound squat and a 265-pound power clean. “Just him alone made the process and decision much easier.”
He called Bielema a “player’s coach” that cares about the well being of the student-athlete.
“He seems to care about his players,” Colquitt said. “He wants to win games but he wants to hold you to a higher standard just like (Bruins) Coach (Kevin) Kelley does. He holds you to a higher standard as far as grade wise. He has his own standard that he wants you to stay above. I feel like if you were having tough times you could go talk to him. It wasn’t just him, it was the other coaches too like Coach Lunney and Coach Thomas.”
Colquitt has a 3.0 grade point average and is considering sports management as a major.
“My goal is not the change the role of the fullback, but put a new imprint on it,” Colquitt said. “A fullback that can be someone who can carry the ball effectively not just get you that one to two yards. I can go in there and get that for you too, but you can give it to me randomly and I can pick up 10 to 15 yards.”