Defensive lineman enjoys visit to UA

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Defensive lineman Breeland Speaks said he plans to make an official visit to Arkansas.
Defensive lineman Breeland Speaks said he plans to make an official visit to Arkansas.

Defensive lineman Breeland Speaks, an Ole Miss commitment, attended Arkansas’ June camp, was able to tour the campus and received a scholarship offer.

“When I went up there the first time, it felt like home,” said Speaks, who plans to make an official visit to Fayetteville on Jan. 31.

Speaks, 6-4, 285 pounds, 4.98 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Jackson (Miss.) Callaway, said he plans to also officially visit LSU on Jan. 17 and Ole Miss on Jan. 24. LSU recently extended a scholarship offer.

During Arkansas’ November open date, Razorbacks Coach Bret Bielema spoke at an event in the Jackson area.

“Coach B, he’s a great guy,” Speaks said. “He came down and spoke at this little event we had and I won player of the week. It was ironic that we saw each other there.”

Speaks, who had 116 total tackles and 26.5 tackles for loss this season, was named the Metro Player of the Year by The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss. National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network rates him as a 3-star prospect.

“He’s a defensive end who can bend off the edge,” Lemming said. “He can dominate at the point of attack and shows pretty good closing speed and strength to manhandle offensive linemen. He maybe best suited to move inside once he gets to college.”

Speaks, who was selected to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, reports a 365 pound bench press and 600-pound squat.He said the official visits will have a major influence in his final decision that he plans to reveal on signing day Feb. 5.

“All of the schools are pretty much even,” Speaks said. “It’s just based on what I finally want to do and I just want to see how it works out on my official visits. I know sometimes that’s a deal breaker.” LATE OFFER?

Arkansas extended a late scholarship offer to Osceola athlete Korliss Marshall about a year ago and he went on to become one of one the more promising Razorbacks freshmen this season.

Pine Bluff Dollarway athlete Josh Liddell, 6-1, 198, 4.5, is an Arkansas State commitment and plans to officially visit the Hogs on Jan. 31. He’s been talking to tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr.

“He didn’t tell me that he was going to offer me on my visit, but he told me there’s a good chance,” Liddell said. “He talked about me possibly being this class’ version of Korliss Marshall. They offered him late in the process.”

Liddell, who played quarterback and safety for the Cardinals, rushed 112 times for 1,278 yards and 21 touchdowns and completed 44 of 58 passes for 1,257 yards and 15 touchdowns. Defensively, he had 24 unassisted tackles, 21 assisted tackles, 3 interceptions and 5 pass breakups.

He recently received a scholarship offer from former Arkansas State coach Bryan Harsin, who’s Boise State’s new coach. He plans to officially visit the Broncos on Jan. 17 and Arkansas State on Jan. 24.

An Arkansas offer would be well received.

“It would mean a lot for me,” Liddell said. “All the hard work I’ve put in over the summer and this fall to get a offer from Arkansas and them being in the SEC would be a big accomplishment.” RIDING THE CAROUSEL

When defensive line coach Charlie Partridge left Arkansas to become Florida Atlantic’s new head coach, it appeared to shut the door on the Hogs’ chance to land highly sought defensive end Rashawn Shaw, a Louisville commitment.

Now with the departure of Charlie Strong from Louisville to Texas. the Razorbacks are back in the race for Shaw.

“They’re pretty much in the mix,” said Shaw’s father, Mike. “They were neck-and-neck with Louisville coming down to the wire. When Coach Partridge departed, that kind of threw us for a loop. You know how the coaching carousel is in college football.”

Shaw, 6-2, 230, of Fort Pierce (Fla.) Central, has about 30 scholarship offers, including ones from Arkansas, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Tennessee and Louisville. He and Central linebacker Sharieff Rhaheed visited the Hogs last summer.

The elder Shaw said they plan to make an official visit to Fayetteville and are eyeing Jan. 24 as a date. Coaching stability appears to be on their mind.

“I was telling Rashawn that Coach Bielema just got there,” Mike Shaw said. “He’ll be there at least three years. The first year going in isn’t a solid recruiting class. This class here is actually the measuring stick.”

E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.comUA commitment listPOS. NAME HT. WT 40 SCHOOLWR Jared Cornelius * 6-1 190 4.48 Shreveport EvangelRB Juan Day 6-2 210 4.5 North Little RockLB Dwayne Eugene 6-2 220 4.5 Metairie (La.) RummelLB Khalia Hackett 6-2 208 4.63 Douglasville, (Ga.) South PauldingDE Jake Hall 6-5 230 N/A Springdale Har-BerK Cole Hedlund 5-10 170 N/A Argyle, TexasDL Bijhon Jackson 6-2 325 5.1 El DoradoTE Jack Kraus 6-5 240 4.9 BentonvilleWR Corey McBride 6-2 180 4.34 Geismar (La.) DutchtownWR Torrance Mosley 5-10 175 4.4 Geismar (La.) DutchtownCB Chris Murphy * 5-10 180 4.4 Marietta (Ga.) LassiterQB Rafe Peavey * 6-2 208 4.5 Bolivar, Mo.

TE Ravian Pierce 6-4 230 4.53 Plantation (Fla.)OL Jovan Pruitt 6-6 295 5.1 Dallas Bishop DunneDB Santos Ramirez 6-2 180 4.55 Shreveport (La.) EvangelCB Henre Toliver 6-1 180 4.56 Metairie (La.) RummelOL Brian Wallace 6-6 304 5.2 St Louis Christian BrothersDL Armon Watts 6-5 270 5.1 St. Louis Christian Brothers* has signed an Institutional Financial Aid Agreement and will enroll in Jan.

SIGNEDWR Cody Hollister 6-4 205 4.5 Arizona Western CCOL Sebastian Tretola 6-4 1/2 315 4.9 Iowa Western CC2015 COMMITMENTSDE-TE Jamario Bell 6-6 230 4.7 Junction CityDE Hjalte Froholdt 6-5 275 N/A DenmarkOL Colton Jackson 6-6 291 N/A ConwayOL Zach Rogers 6-3 295 5.09 Carrollton (Texas) HebronQB Ty Storey 6-3 217 4.92 Charleston

Sports, Pages 21 on 01/07/2014