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:
Receiver isn’t interested in getting run-around
University of Arkansas assistant coach Randy Shannon during media day Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013 at the Fred W. Smith Football Center in Fayetteville.
Miami Northwestern receiver Jojo Robinson will make an official visit to Arkansas this weekend.
Robinson hosted Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and linebackers coach Randy Shannon for an in-home visit Monday.
Robinson, 6-0, 186 pounds, 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, orally committed to Florida State in July 2012 but has decided to take other visits. He also plans to make a trip to TCU on Jan. 31.
He said Bielema and Shannon spoke of early playing time, academics and making the transition from Miami to Fayetteville.
“They just showed me the great amount of interest and how they want me to be a part of their program,” Robinson said.
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network rates Johnson a three-star-plus prospect with game-changing speed.
“He can get to top speed in a blink of an eye and creates consistent separation on almost every play,” Lemming said.
Robinson, who visited South Florida last weekend, said Shannon is down-to-earth and informative when it comes to the recruiting process.
“He shares a lot of his knowledge on and off the field with me,” Robinson said. “He keeps it real with me, good or bad, and I feel he is 100 percent honest with me.”
Robinson’s mother, Patricia Joseph, will accompany him on the visit. He said she wants to see an environment that promotes a family atmosphere.
“The coaches, players and everyone there just showing me a lot of love and wanting me to be a part of their program,” said Robinson, who has a 2.9 grade-point average and is considering sports medicine or pharmacy. “Showing that they genuinely care about me and really want me.” HOLDING FIRM
Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and defensive line and specialists coach Rory Segrest visited record-setting kicker Cole Hedlund at school and at home Tuesday.
It was Hedlund’s first time to meet Segrest in person, and the meeting was reassuring for Segrest.
“I had a great in-home visit with Coach B and Coach Segrest,” said Hedlund, who is from Argyle, Texas. “Coach Segrest is a great guy, and I really look forward to working with him.”
Hedlund, 5-10, 170 pounds, set the national record for field goals in a season as a sophomore with 25. He made 24 of 32 this past season and was perfect on 103 extra points. He also set a national record for career field goals with 56.
He and his parents, Julie and John, who is the head soccer coach at North Texas, will arrive in Fayetteville today to begin his official visit. He said his parents were impressed with Bielema and Segrest.
“They liked both coaches, very down-to-earth,” Hedlund said. “My dad, being a college coach himself, hit it off with both coaches extremely well. “
Argyle Coach Todd Rogers said he doesn’t believe hostile SEC stadiums will faze Hedlund, who was named an All-American by USA Today.
“I’ve seen Cole enough and seen how he responds in critical situations, and he handles it very well,” Rogers said. “I think every kid has an adjustment, but I don’t think it ever will be too big for him.”
Rogers said he learned Segrest’s philosophy when it comes to coaching kickers.
“Coach Segrest told me that communication was very important, and especially during a game,” Segrest said. “He told me about the structure of practices during the week and prior to the game.”
Hedlund held firm with his oral commitment, despite Arkansas’ 3-9 record and the fact that other schools, including Texas A&M, continued to recruit him after his commitment to the Razorbacks.
“I felt like Arkansas was the right place for me and it seems like the best fit for me for the next four years of my life,” Hedlund said.
Arkansas is expected to host six other athletes on official visits this weekend, including athlete Josh Liddell of Pine Bluff Dollarway, linebacker Randy Ramsey of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard, receiver Kendrick Edwards of Miami Norland and defensive end Solomon Thomas ofCoppell, Texas.
ON THE MOVE
USA Today All-America linebacker Kenny Young of River Ridge (La.) Curtis arrived in Fayetteville late Wednesday night with his parents for the start of his official visit.
Young, 6-2, 220 pounds, 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, is expected to leave today for a visit to Oklahoma State. He plans to take a midweek visit to LSU and will wrap up his official visits with a trip to UCLA next weekend.
Arkansas is no longer recruiting Plantation, Fla., tight end Ravian Pierce, who orally committed to the Razorbacks in September, because he has not made a qualifying score on the ACT.
The NCAA has a signing limit of 25, and many schools are reluctant to sign prospects who have not met a qualifying score.
Pierce is looking at other options, including Florida Athletic, where former Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge was hired recently as the school’s head coach.
E-mail Richard Davenport at email@example.comUA commitment list2014 ORAL COMMITMENTSPOS. 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.) S. 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.
OL JOVAN PRUITT 6-6 295 5.1 Dallas Bishop DunneDB SANTOS RAMIREZ 6-2 180 4.55 Shreveport 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 BrothersSIGNEDWR 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*Has signed an Institutional Financial Aid Agreement and enrolled.
Sports, Pages 25 on 01/24/2014