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:
Impressive facilities make for happy campers
Sophomore quarterback Jeremy Smith, who has offers from Oklahoma, Houston, SMU and Michigan State, plans to attend an Arkansas camp next week.
FAYETTEVILLE -- Approximately 70 athletes participated in Arkansas' Elite Camp on Thursday, and several came away impressed with the Hogs.
Junior quarterback/receiver Jeremy Smith of Missouri City (Texas) Fort Bend Marshall worked at both positions and showed why he has scholarship offers from Michigan State, SMU, Oklahoma and Houston.
Smith, 6-3, 180 pounds, 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash, worked on several things under the watchful eye of Jim Chaney, the Razorbacks' quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
"He just told me to believe in my receivers, they're going to be there," Smith said.
Smith and his father, Terence, were pleasantly surprised by what they saw.
"I like the facilities, they were real nice," Smith said. "I love it. They were more than I expected."
Junior quarterback Jon Randall Belton of West Monroe, La., has scholarship offers from TCU, Georgia Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Mississippi State and Louisiana-Monroe. He said he isn't used to the type of terrain he found in Fayetteville.
"It's just a pretty campus on top of hills and mountains," said Belton, 6-2, 210 pounds. "That's really cool. I've never seen that. It's just a nice atmosphere here."
The facilities were also a hit.
"They have a really nice locker room and play room," Belton said. "The indoor is real nice also. You can look down from the weight room, so it's just really cool."
Belton was team captain last year as a sophomore. He said Arkansas would be in the mix if the Hogs offer him a scholarship.
"They would have a really good chance," Belton said. "I'm really not looking too far ahead. I'm trying to win a state championship, and we'll go from there my junior and senior year."
Junior defensive lineman Cameron Murray of Bryant said he picked up several tips from defensive line coach Rory Segrest.
"He was showing us technique, and he was actually breaking it down to us," Murray said.
Murray, 6-2, 272, 5.13 seconds, is one of the top in-state prospects in the 2016 class. He has a scholarship offer from Arkansas State and wouldn't mind getting one from the Hogs.
"It would mean a lot, especially to get one going into my junior year," Murray said. "When they offer me, I'll be really happy."
RB LIKES HOGS' STYLE
Ole Miss running back commitment Rawleigh Williams of Dallas Bishop Lynch said he plans to visit Arkansas after receiving a scholarship offer from the school last Friday.
"I'm definitely interested in Arkansas," said Williams, who is scheduled to visit June 18. "It's a big offer because I love the way they run the ball."
Williams, 5-10, 198 pounds, 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash, orally committed to the Rebels in April of last year, but that didn't stop Arkansas running backs coach Joel Thomas from pursuing him.
"He's kept up with me for the past year," Williams said. "I had a tough year dealing with injuries and everything, but he still stood by me and still stayed in touch with me all the time, and it's turned into an offer and hopefully more."
Williams rushed 143 times for 767 yards and 7 touchdowns and had 26 receptions for 269 yards and 1 touchdown as a junior. He said Thomas has given him an idea what to expect on his visit.
"He said it's a great atmosphere and a great school," said Williams, who has an offer from Duke as well as Arkansas and Ole Miss.
Another Dallas-Fort Worth area running back said he plans to attend Arkansas' camp Sunday in hopes of earning a scholarship offer.
Charles West of Coppell High School has more than 10 scholarship offers from a lineup that include Texas Tech, San Diego State, BYU, Kansas State, Tulsa and Nevada.
West, 5-10, 187 pounds, 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash, said he is confident he can show he is worthy of an offer from the Hogs.
"I think I have a good shot," he said.
West said Arkansas running backs coach Joel Thomas has kept him in the loop about what he needs to do at camp.
"He really likes my film," West said. "He liked me at practice. He was down a couple of times this spring and he said he really liked me, but he wants the head coach to see me and then we'll go from there."
West was timed at 10.52 seconds in the 100 meters this spring and anchored the 400- and 800-meter relays. He also plans to attend camps at UCLA and Oregon.
His teammate, highly recruited offensive lineman Connor Williams, attended Arkansas' spring game and raved about his experience.
"He said he loved the school and the campus and everything about it," West said.
Two of central Arkansas' top prospects orally committed to schools this week.
North Little Rock running back D.J. Brown committed to Northern Illinois on Thursday, and Pulaski Academy quarterback Will Hefley pledged to Tulsa on Tuesday.
Neither Brown nor Hefley have received an offer from Arkansas.
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Sports on 06/13/2014