THE RECRUITING GUY:

NLR receiver wants to know:Will UA ‘sling it’?

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, February 28, 2014
North Little Rock Charging Wildcats' K.J. Hill keeps his eye on the end zone during their game against the Lake Hamilton Wolves Sept. 6, 2013 at North Little Rock High School.
Photo by Melissa Gerrits
North Little Rock Charging Wildcats' K.J. Hill keeps his eye on the end zone during their game against the Lake Hamilton Wolves Sept. 6, 2013 at North Little Rock High School.

Arkansas will host about 12 junior prospects Saturday, and North Little Rock receiver K.J. Hill will use the opportunity to learn more about the Razorbacks’ offense.

“I want to know how I fit into the system, see if the system is right for me and if I belong in the system,” Hill said.

Hill, 6-0, 178 pounds, 4. 5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, caught 63 passes for 1 , 143 yards and 16 touchdowns this past season and was named the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Offensive Player of the Year.

Hill had 5 receptions for 71 yards and 2 touchdowns and returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score against Lake Hamilton in the opening game of the season with Arkansas assistant coaches Barry Lunney Jr. and Michael Smith in attendance.

A day later, he received a scholarship offer from Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema while attending the Razorbacks’ game against Samford at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. He is becoming one of the more sought-after receivers in the nation with offers from Auburn, Alabama, Louisville, South Carolina, Notre Dame and others.

Hill wants to look more in depth at Arkansas’ passing game.

“Will they sling the ball like the way I would like them to,” Hill said.

Hill, who has visited Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss and Oklahoma State, said choosing a school isn’t easy.

“Every college you go to, you think, ‘This is the one,’ ” Hill said. “You just have to trust where you want to go. All the colleges compared to high school are big. You just have to choose wisely.”

Charging Wildcats Coach Brad Bolding said he isn’t surprised by the number of offers Hill has accumulated.

“I personally believe he’s the best player in Arkansas,” Bolding said. “I’m very proud of how he conducts himself and how much he puts into being the best receiver he can be.”

Hill said several schools are recruiting him hard.

“Arkansas, Bama and OSU,” said Hill, who reports communicating with Lunney and Bielema on a regular basis. “I’ve been talking to Louisville and South Carolina a bit, then Notre Dame.”

He and Pine Bluff tight end Will Gragg, another major target for the Hogs, are close friends and hope to attend the same school. Gragg is also scheduled to visit the Hogs on Saturday.

TAKE IT IN STRIDE

One of Oklahoma’s top prospects, receiver Dahu Green of Westmoore High School in Oklahoma City, plans to visit Arkansas on Saturday.

Green, 6-4, 193, 4.59 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Washington State, Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Cincinnati and Tulsa.

He recorded 40 receptions for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior in Class 6A, the highest classification in Oklahoma, by using his size and speed.

“Those short safeties can move their legs as fast as they want, and I just stride into the end zone,” Green said.

He and Arkansas receivers coach Michael Smith have been talking for a few weeks.

“I get along with him; he and I have a similar personality,” Green said. “It’s cool talking to him.”

Green said he hopes the Hogs become the eighth school to make him an offer.

“I’m really interested in Arkansas,” Green said. “I heard the campus is really beautiful and their fan base is strong. That’s always a good thing. I’m going to do more research and see how I like it.” OTHER VISITORS

Two of the top running backs in Texas will make the trip to Arkansas with their mothers.

Ronald Jones II, 6-0, 185, 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash, plays for McKinney (Texas) North High School and has offers from about 15 schools, including Arkansas.

Chris Warren III, 6-2, 227, 4.4, plays for Rockwall, Texas and has approximately 20 offers and is likely to get another offer from Arkansas during his visit.

Offensive and defensive lineman Sam Tecklenburg, 6-4, 260, of Plano, Texas, is also expected to visit. He has offers from SMU, Tulsa, Texas Tech, Connecticut, Arkansas State and Wake Forest.

Three Arkansas commitments - quarterback Ty Storey, 6-3, 217, 4.92, of Charleston; offensive lineman Colton Jackson, 6-6, 291, of Conway; and offensive lineman Zach Rogers, 6-3, 295, 5.09, of Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas - also will be on hand.

Fort Smith Northside defensive end Daytrieon Dean, 6-3, 260, 4.89, has offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss and Arkansas State. He plans to announce his decision June 30.

Two Highland products, receiver Deon Stewart, 6-1, 163, 4.48, and athlete Avery Johnson, 6-1, 206, 4.54, are scheduled to visit as well. Stewart could be the next in-state prospect to receive an offer from Arkansas.

E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports, Pages 25 on 02/28/2014

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