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:
Arizona lineman scrubs in during his visit with Hogs
Highly recruited offensive lineman Andrew Mike, who said he is planning to study pre-med, was able to witness surgery of a torn labrum at a local Fayetteville facility Friday, the beginning of his weekend official visit to Arkansas.
“It was pretty cool to see a torn labrum surgery,” Mike said. “Got all dressed up in the gear and watched it, and it was really cool to be able to experience it for the first time and see what they do.”
Mike, 6-7, 275 pounds, 5.05 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Tucson (Ariz.) Sabino, has more than 20 scholarship offers, including ones from Arkansas, Arizona State, Arizona, Washington and Florida. Mike said the visit helped the Hogs’ chances of landing him.
“It definitely increased them,” said Mike, who was one of seven visitors Arkansas hosted for the weekend. “I really don’t have a top three or anything, but it definitely made me know what they’re all about and I liked it.”
Tight end Hunter Henry and offensive lineman Dan Skipper hosted Mike, who praised offensive line coach Sam Pittman.
“Love him, good guy,” said Mike, who’s rated a 4-star prospect by national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. “He knows what he’s talking about and he gets guys into the league.”
Coach Bret Bielema’s reputation of producing NFL type talent linemen is also a plus, Mike said.
“Good guy, too,” he said. “He really cares about the linemen.”
Mike, who plans to officially visit Florida this weekend, has also visited Washington. He said he unsure if he’ll take a visit on Jan. 31.
Highly regarded cornerback Cornelius Floyd of Miami Gulliver Prep will announce his college decision after Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema makes an in-home visit Sunday.
“The fans, coaches and players,” said Floyd of the highlights of his trip to Arkansas. “De’Andre Coley, he’s a good kid. He’s quiet, like myself. He showed me around. He said it’s a lot of fun. He said the fans are crazy, they show a lot of love, and he likes it a lot.”
Floyd, 6-1, 170, 4.49, had planned to officially visit Oklahoma this weekend, but said on Sunday he wouldn’t make the trip. In addition to Arkansas, he has approximately 16 other scholarship offers from schools like Oklahoma, Wake Forrest, West Virginia,Pittsburgh and Virginia.
Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon is the lead recruiter of Floyd, who rated the visit high.
“I’ll give it a 10,” Floyd said.RECONSIDERING
Miami Killian defensive end Anthony Brown was orally committed to Florida International before his official visit to Fayetteville, but reopened his recruiting Monday.
“Definitely leaning toward Arkansas after this weekend,” Brown said. “I came up here, I loved what I seen and I’ll just take it from there.”
Brown, 6-3 ½, 235, will make an official visit to Mississippi State this weekend and will evaluate where he’ll attend school after the trip. He was hosted by Razorbacks offensive lineman Denver Kirkland, his former teammate.
“I know Denver actually from my freshman year when I went to [Miami] Booker T. [Washington] and I knew him from there,” Brown said. “It was pretty much like catching up. He is good people. He’s a funny dude. A cool person.”CB LIKES UA
Highly sought cornerback Lamont Simmons said Arkansas helped its chances to land him after his official visit.
Simmons, 6-2, 175, 4.53, of Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines, has more than 20 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Auburn, Southern California and Penn State. He said meeting strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert and Coach Bret Bielema were the highlights of the visit.
“He’s a great guy,” Simmons said of Herbert. “I really enjoyed talking to him. I feel like he’s one of the best doing that profession. Also having a 1-on-1 with Coach B. He has a great personality, and I know he wants me at his school.”
Simmons’ hosts, safety Rohan Gaines and quarterback Damon Mitchel, gave him insight about Arkansas.
“[They said] It’s a great school and that I can come in and fight for a position early,” said Simmons, whose lead recruiter is Razorbacks linebackers coach Randy Shannon.
MAKING THE LIST
On Monday, Arkansas made the cut for one of the nation’s elite prospects, defensive end Solomon Thomas of Coppell, Texas. His father, Chris said, said his son’s finalists are, in no particular order, the Razorbacks, UCLA and Stanford.
In a text message, Chris Thomas said he spoke to Texas Coach Charlie Strong and Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell and informed them that based on academic, social and athletic elements, his son was not a fit for their programs.
Thomas, 6-3, 261, 4.7, is rated the No. 24 prospect in the nation by national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. Running backs coach Joel Thomas is Thomas’ lead recruiter at Arkansas.
Thomas, who has officially visited Stanford and UCLA, will make his official visit to Arkansas this weekend.
E-mail Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.orgUA commitmentsWR 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, South Paulding (Ga.)DE JAKE HALL 6-5, 230, Springdale Har-BerK COLE HEDLUND 5-10, 170, 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 enrolledSIGNEESWR CODY HOLLISTER 6-4, 205, 4.5, Arizona Western CCOL SEBASTIAN TRETOLA 6-4½, 315, 4.9, Iowa Western CC
Sports, Pages 15 on 01/21/2014