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:
Visit rates 8; Hogs in race
Defensive end Solomon Thomas, a consensus four-star recruit, is one of Arkansas' top prospects for the class of 2014.
One of the nation’s top prospects, defensive end Solomon Thomas wrapped up his official visit to Arkansas on Sunday and the Razorbacks will have to wait eight days to hear of his college decision.
Thomas, 6-3, 261, 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Coppell, Texas narrowed his list of more than 30 scholarship offers in no particular order to Arkansas, Stanford and UCLA last Monday before his trip to Fayetteville. He has already visited the Cardinal and Bruins.
The trip afforded him the opportunity to get to know defensive line and specialists coach Rory Segrest, who spent five seasons as the defensive line coach with the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I had a lot of fun hanging out with the players, getting to meet the coaches and getting to talk to coach Segrest and learn a lot about what he’s like and his style.” said Thomas, whose parents, Chris and Martha accompanied him on the trip.
Thomas is rated as the nation’s No. 41 prospect by national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network,
“This season, he once again dominated in 1-on-1 battles and consistently splitting double teams and applied pressure on the quarterback,” Lemming said.
Thomas, whose lead recruiter is running backs coach Joel Thomas, said highlight of the trip was hanging out with Segrest and the players.
“He’s a really good coach,” Thomas said of Segrest. “He has lot of different ways to teach things that’s really interesting and works really well and he seemed like a great guy.”
Thomas rated his Arkansas visit an 8 on a 1-to-10 scale, the same as his trips to Stanford and UCLA. The passion of the Razorbacks fan base and their activity on twitter has surprised him.
“They’re an amazing fan base,” said Thomas, whose sister, Ella is a student at Arkansas.
Thomas, who recorded 78 tackles and 12.5 sacks this past season, will announce his college decision on ESPNU on Feb. 5, national signing day.
STILL SOLD ON SEMINOLES?
Miami Northwestern receiver JoJo Robinson is committed to Florida State, but said his official visit to Arkansas over the weekend was “very nice.”
“I had a great time here, it was a great experience,” said Robinson, whose lead recruiter is linebackers coach Randy Shannon. “It was my first time to Arkansas, so I loved it.”
Robinson, 6-0, 186 pounds, 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, said there wasn’t just one thing that stood out about his visit.
“It’s just a family,” Robinson said. “Everybody’s on the same page. They had great fans, the facilities are amazing and it’s just a cool town.”
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network said Robinson’s playmaking ability makes him a 3-star plus prospect.
“JoJo shows All-American ability at receiver,” Lemming said. “He catches the ball with his hands and isn’t afraid to go over the middle. He does a good job of getting open and is good of avoiding the jam at the line.”
The Hogs are recruiting Robinson to play slot receiver and return kicks. He wouldn’t rate the odds of a possible commitment to the Hogs.
“I can’t really say that,” Robinson said.
Robinson said on Sunday that he planned take a midweek visit to Auburn and a trip to TCU this weekend.He added LSU was another school he was considering.
“I still consider myself committed to Florida State,” Robinson said. “I’ve been committed to them since early in my junior year, late sophomore year. I still have a good relationship with them and I’m still committed to them.”
Miami natives, safety De’Andre Coley and offensive lineman Denver Kirkland were his hosts.
“They’re friends from home,” Robinson said. “I’ve known them for a very long time, so we were just hanging out and having fun.”
E-mail Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports, Pages 19 on 01/28/2014