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 Recuiting guy:
Florida linebacker likes what he sees in Razorbacks
Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon works during a spring practice in Fayetteville.
Arkansas received a good overall review from linebacker Derrick Graham after he and his older brother P.J. visited the Hogs on Sunday.
"The facilities are top-notch," said Graham, who plans to major in agriculture. "There's no doubt about that. The academic side, they told me what they expected from me. I was able to meet with the teacher and I was told how everything was. I got a good feeling from the school."
Graham, 6-4, 218 pounds, 4.75 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Wauchula (Fla.) Hardee, reports scholarship offers from approximately 15 schools, including Arkansas, Mississippi State, Iowa State, SMU and Marshall.
Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith, who visited Graham's school twice during the spring evaluation period, broke down how the Hogs' plan for him.
"Coach Smith showed me how they would use me," Graham said, explaining he would be tried at Sam [strong side linebacker] as well as Will [weakside].
Graham recorded 51 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 3 quarterback hurries, 3 pass deflections and 1 forced fumble last year after playing safety and receiver as a sophomore.
He was able to spend time with Razorbacks Coach Bret Bielema.
Before the visit, Graham had mentioned about the possibility of committing to the Razorbacks if things went well. He said the thought crossed his mind.
"Yeah, but I also wanted to go along with the process and go see everything and research the school and research everything they told me and make sure it's the truth," he said. " Just making sure that's the place I want to be."
He visited South Alabama and Mississippi State before getting to Fayetteville late Saturday night. Graham said he is leaning towards taking his allotted five official visits. The Hogs look to be in good shape to get one.
"I really would like to," Graham said. "I don't know yet but I really would like to. I really think I'm going to take one."
Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and his staff kicked off the summer camps with the Youth Camp on Saturday that consisted approximately 170 kids in the first through fourth grades.
One shrewd youngster approached Bielema with a business proposition.
"He said, Can we take a selfie?' I said, 'Sure,' and he goes, 'If I get a selfie with you, I get 30 bucks from my dad,' " Bielema said. "I said, 'OK, how much do I get?' "
The kid was looking to add to his haul of cash.
"He goes, 'Can you help me out? If I get Brey Cook and Hunter Henry, I get another 25 bucks,' " Bielema said. "So we went over there and grabbed those two. So we made some young man 55 bucks today."
Campers went through drills at every position and were coached not only by the staff, but 20 Razorbacks players deemed leaders.
"We thought it would be best to have our best leaders," Bielema said. "It's 20 of our players on what we call the Hog Council, which were players that were voted on and elected by their position groups."
Some of players working the camp included quarterback Brandon Allen, tight end Hunter Henry, linebacker Martrell Spaight, receiver Demetrius Wilson, offensive lineman Luke Charpentier, tight end A.J. Derby and defensive end Trey Flowers.
"A lot of them started out in these same type of camps," Bielema said. "So it's kind of refreshing and they're definitely energized and having some fun with it."
Many of the kids were in awe of the players they usually only see on television.
"We purposely didn't put them in jerseys because we wanted the kids to kind of recognize their faces and see who they are," Bielema said. "We introduced them and it was kind of funny to see the kids' reactions. 'That's Jonathan Williams, that's Brandon Allen.' As much as it's good for the young kids, it's great for our kids."
The Hogs will host an Elite Prospect Camp on Thursday and a specialist camp for kickers, punters and snappers Saturday. The three-day overnight camp runs from Sunday to Tuesday and another Elite Prospect camp will wrap up the June camps next Thursday.
For more information, go to www.razorbacksfootballcamps.com.
E-mail Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports on 06/10/2014