THE RECRUITING GUY:

Top prospects get closer look

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014
North Little Rock Charging Wildcats' K.J. Hill keeps his eye on the end zone during their game against the Lake Hamilton Wolves Sept. 6, 2013 at North Little Rock High School.
Photo by Melissa Gerrits
North Little Rock Charging Wildcats' K.J. Hill keeps his eye on the end zone during their game against the Lake Hamilton Wolves Sept. 6, 2013 at North Little Rock High School.

FAYETTEVILLE -- North Little Rock receiver K.J. Hill and Dumas tight end Will Gragg traveled here on Sunday for Arkansas' three-day camp and will leave today.

Hill revealed what he was looking to accomplish with the visit.

"It's just to build a relationship with the coaches again and just to ask questions about things that I still have questions about," Hill said. "Just have fun and come out here and do the drills and be with the coaches."

Hill said he wants to know more about the direction of the offense.

"What they are going to do this year and the development of the team and changes," Hill said.

Hill, 6-0, 190, 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has 18 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Penn State, Louisville, South Carolina and Notre Dame. ESPN rates Hill the No. 23 receiver prospect and the nation's No. 223 overall prospect.

Hill and Gragg caught passes from Razorbacks quarterback commitment Ty Storey of Charleston Sunday evening and on Monday.

"We have done thrown a couple of times at the camps and stuff, but I just want to get some balls from him and get a feel more on how he is on the field," Hill said. "I know him as a person, just on the field."

Hill said he'll probably narrow his list of school at the end of the summer. He doesn't have any official visits set.

"No, not yet," Hill said. "I am still writing them down and then going to break them down to the colleges I am going to visit."

Gragg, 6-4, 247, 4.8, claims more than 40 scholarship offers, including the likes of Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn, Texas, LSU, Oregon, Ole Miss and Oklahoma. His mission is much like Hill's.

"Just building relationships, getting comfortable with the new facilities, the new GAs (graduate assistants), the coaches even more than we already have been," Gragg said.

Gragg and Hill spent time talking to two incoming Razorbacks freshmen -- defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson and running back Juan Day.

"They are doing a come-join-us type of thing," Gragg said. "They are recruiting us as hard as the coaches are. Come join us, build a dynasty program. We are looking for a place we can win."

Gragg and Hill will join the nation's top players in July at The Opening held at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

"It is going to be a great experience," said Gragg, who plans to announce his top six schools at the event. "There are 160 of the best players in the country and only the elite go. They have had some great names, guys like Derrick Henry and Altee Tenpenny. So I feel honored to be going."

FLORIDA SAFETY STRUTS STUFF

Highly recruited safety Marcus Walker showed Monday at Arkansas' three-day camp why he has scholarship offers from 28 schools.

Walker, 6-2, 180, 4.5, of Lake Wales, Fla., has offers from the likes of Arkansas, Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, Tennessee, Florida and Vanderbilt. Walker and Lake Wales head coach TaVaris Johnson visited the Arkansas campus on Sunday and will do so again today.

Walker came up with three interceptions and showed excellent coverage skills during Monday's morning session and said he enjoyed working with defensive backs coach Clay Jennings.

"I'm loving it up here, I'm learning more about technique," said Walker, who has a 3.8 grade point average. "I went up against some great receivers and just developing my skills here. I'm loving the facilities, and I love the way the coach coaches and just love the way they treat me down here."

He said he likes the Hogs so much he has the Razorbacks in his top three.

"I know that with the coaching change they are on the up and coming and with bringing in the next two recruiting classes, it is going to be a better school in the future," Walker said. "And they need more people like me at my position."

A school's coaching staff will play a big role in his college decision.

"I just want to make sure I come to a school where the coaching staff will care about me after I graduate, who will stay in touch with me and help me whenever I need help," Walker said. "I also want a coaching staff that is not going to be too nice, but to be on me and don't tell me what I want to hear. I want them to be on me and tell me what I need to do to be better."

Walker said he plans to take three official visits during the season and make his college decision soon afterward.

COACHES PORE OVER SPRINKLE

White Hall tight end-defensive end Daniel Sprinkle showed why he's attracting attention from Arkansas during Sunday's evening session and again on Monday.

Sprinkle, 6-4, 225, recorded 4.23 seconds in the pro-shuttle and did the 40 in 4.6 seconds. He's the younger brother of Razorback tight end Jeremy Sprinkle.

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and tight ends coach Barry Lunney gave Sprinkle special attention as he worked at tight end and he also worked with defensive coordinator Robb Smith and defensive line coach Rory Segrest as a defensive end.

Sprinkle recorded 24 receptions for 399 yards and had 71 tackles, 6 sacks and 14 tackles for loss as a junior.

TEXAS RB RECEIVES OFFER

Running back Charles West, 5-10, 190, of Coppell, Texas received an offer from Arkansas Monday evening after a good showing at the Hogs’ camp. He recorded a 4.38 in the 40 during the Army Combine in early June. He has also recorded a a time of 10.52 seconds in the 100 meters. His other offers include, Texas Tech, San Diego State, BYU, Arkansas State and Kansas State.

E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 06/17/2014

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