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:
Smackover junior jumps on UA offer
Smackover's Jordan Jones (10) was Arkansas' first commitment in the class of 2016.
Smackover junior receiver Jordan Jones wowed Arkansas coaches with his performance at Thursday's Elite Camp and was rewarded with a scholarship offer.
He orally committed shortly afterward.
Jones, 6-2, 175 pounds, ran a blazing 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash and had an outstanding performance against the top defensive backs during one-on-one activities. Coach Bret Bielema and the staff had seen enough.
"Coach just told me to stay on top of my grades, and he told me he wanted to give me a scholarship," Jones said. "It was pretty cool getting an offer from the hometown team. ... Being a hometown guy, they're No. 1 in my heart. I just went with my heart and they're the No. 1 team. I committed."
Jones also had an offer from Tulsa and was drawing interest from Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Memphis, Louisiana Tech and others. He recorded 25 receptions for 687 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and was named to the All-Arkansas Preps team.
"I like Coach B. It's more than football with him," Jones said.
Jones said even he was surprised by his 40-yard time and his ability to handle the defensive backs.
"I didn't expect to come out this good, but I figured I'd do some of the stuff I had been doing," he said. "I didn't expect to run to run as fast as I did or do some of the things I was able to do."
Jones said the Razorbacks shouldn't worry about him flipping his commitment.
"It's a yes for good," he said. "I think we made the right decision, the right choice. Being a hometown guy, it's just what I wanted to do. Now I can say I'm going to the Razorbacks."
Jones is the first commitment for the the Hogs in the 2016 class. Oral commitments are nonbinding.
Storey gets in work
Charleston's Ty Storey, an Arkansas commitment, has attended recent Razorbacks camps because he wanted to work with his future offensive coordinator, Jim Chaney, and also try and bring others on board.
"I still want to get as much work as I can with Coach Chaney before I get up here," Storey said. "I know there's some stuff I still need to keep working on. That's why I'm here and help recruit a little bit."
Storey threw to two major Razorbacks targets, Dumas tight end Will Gragg and North Little Rock receiver K.J. Hill, on Sunday and Monday.
"It's just a fun time out here throwing to all these great athletes," Storey said. "We're having a good time with it."
Texas RB offered
Texas running back Charles West traveled to Fayetteville to earn a scholarship offer from Arkansas during the Hogs' three-day camp.
West, 5-10, 190, 4.38, of Coppell, Texas, impressed Coach Bret Bielema and running backs coach Joel Thomas. He received word of the offer from Bielema during a phone conversation Monday evening.
"It's exciting getting an SEC offer," West said. "It's everything I always wished for, because I want to play in the best conference in college football to show my talents off."
He and three other teammates arrived Sunday and were able to look around campus.
"I mean I loved it," West said. "It was great and just the people there were amazing."
West rushed 145 times for 1,177 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He scored on more than half of his receptions with 6 touchdowns on 11 catches for 262 yards.
An urge to commit to the Hogs isn't quite there yet.
"Not exactly right now, " he said. "I'm going to visit others schools who have offered me, and whoever offers me the best opportunity that's where I'll commit."
West said he enjoyed working with Thomas.
"Getting hands on with the running backs coach that I could possibly be playing for was a just a great opportunity," West said. "I gave it all with the intention of getting an offer, so I feel like I did my job."
He learned why Bielema wanted to extend the offer.
"He said he liked me today and I showed him something that everybody else didn't, so I got an offer," West said.
E-mail Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports on 06/20/2014