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.
5 pledge, including Florida 4
University of Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema at the Razorback Football Kickoff Luncheon Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale.
Arkansas added three football oral commitments on Monday - giving them five since Saturday - when receiver Kendrick Edwards, cornerback Cornelius Floyd and defensive end Anthony Brown pledged to the Hogs.
Edwards, 6-6, 200 pounds, 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Miami Norland, officially visited Fayetteville over the weekend and left impressed.
“It went awesome,” Edwards said. “I loved everything about it. I loved the coaches. I love the city. It was the food and the atmosphere, the fans … everything was just crazy.”
Edwards said that he met with Coach Bret Bielema and said he left believing there was an opportunity for immediate playing time because of Arkansas’ need for bigger receivers in the red zone.
“Most definitely, he said I could earn a spot at receiver because they have like five seniors leaving,” Edwards said. “Coach said I would fit nicely in their system.”
Edwards, who recorded 24 receptions for 443 yards and 8 touchdowns as a junior, had 15 catches for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns this past season while operating in the Wing-T after the starting quarterback suffered an injury.
Edwards had about 20 reported scholarship offers, including Auburn, South Carolina, Rutgers, Syracuse and Louisville.
Arkansas’ facilities wowed Edwards.
“I most definitely liked the indoor facility and the weight room and the coaches,” he said.
Edwards and his lead recruiter, linebackers coach Randy Shannon, are not strangers.
“Coach Randy Shannon is a real cool guy,” Edwards said. “He’s been watching me since Optimist, around 10-12 years old. He is a really cool guy.”
Floyd, 6-1, 170, 4.49 seconds in the 40, of Miami Gulliver Prep, went public with his commitment during an inhome visit Monday afternoon with Bielema and cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson.
He chose the Hogs over about 20 scholarship offers, from the likes of Oklahoma, Wake Forrest, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Virginia and others. He recorded 41 tackles, 12 pass breakups, 7 interceptions, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble this past season.
Gulliver Prep offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jorge Baez said Floyd was a playmaker on both sides of the ball.
“He’s going to be so missed because he did so much for this program,” Baez said. “I used him on offense a lot. Every time he touched the ball it was usually a home run. On defense, he was a guy that we could put on their best receiver and had faith that the guy wasn’t going to be a factor.”
Floyd, who officially visited Arkansas on Jan. 17 with his parents, said the Razorbacks were the best fit for him.
Four south Florida prospects have committed to Arkansas in the past two days. Fort Lauderdale Dillard linebacker Randy Ramsey committed to the Hogs on Sunday.
Brown, 6-3 1/2, 235 pounds of Miami Killian High School, was the last of the Floridians to commit, during an in-home visit with Bielema late Monday evening. He picked the Hogs over scholarship offers from Michigan State, Mississippi State, Cincinnati and others.
He officially visited the Hogs on Jan. 17 and was sold on what Arkansas had to offer.
“From the athletic side to the academics, everything is good,” Brown said.
He’s familiar with Razorback offensive lineman Denver Kirkland, who attended Miami Washington High School.
Sports, Pages 15 on 01/28/2014