Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Highly sought Warren "blown away" by UA visit
Highly recruited running back Chris Warren III is aware of Arkansas’ two subpar seasons, but he’s optimistic about the future.
“They didn’t have a very successful season last year and they didn’t have one the year before,” said Warren, who visited the Razorbacks on Saturday. “But I just feel from what I’ve seen today and what I’ve been hearing from the coaches they’re ready to take off like a rocket and explode.”
Warren, 6-2, 227 pounds, 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Rockwall High School became one of Texas‘ top prospects after rushing 174 times for 1,059 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore.
He rushed for 747 yards and 11 touchdowns this past season in five games before suffering an ACL injury against rival Rockwall-Heath.
The injury hasn’t stopped Arkansas, Texas, Ohio State, Alabama, Stanford, Auburn, Oklahoma, Georgia and others from offering. He was able to spend time with Coach Bret Bielema.
“He’s a very interactive guy,” Warren said. “ He definitely likes to talk about personal things He tries to be friends with his recruits.”
His father, Chris was the Seattle Seahawks’ all time leading rusher with 6,706 yards until Shaun Alexander bypassed him with 9,429 yards.
Warren said the facilities were impressive.
“I did not know the facilities were as good as they were,” Warren said. “That was a good surprise. I don’t necessarily know how to put it, but I really just enjoyed my visit up here.”
He met several players, but couldn’t recall their names.
“I got to meet a couple of players,” said Warren, whose lead recruiter is running backs coach Joel Thomas. “I don’t exactly remember their names, because I was blown away by what was up here.”
Warren’s mother, K’tara complimented Ragean Hill, Arkansas’ director of football academic counseling.
“Everything she was saying was definitely on point with what I’m looking for Christopher to be surrounded with,” she said.
She and Hill talked about several options for Warren.
“We went through what the normal plan is to graduate in three and half years and I told her what Christopher's plan was possibly pre-med,” K’tara said. “She went through the break down on how they can adjust it that they’re not only taking and trying to graduate on time, but actually moving it towards the direction what’s best for the particular academic study that they’re doing.”
Hill’s background of studying pre-med was a plus.
“So she understands the rigors of the actual science degree, so that was really comforting,” K’tara said.
The student-athlete development program also impressed Warren’s mother.
“Then the other thing I really thought was awesome they’re the only other school besides Michigan that has talked about it, is their shadowing program,” she said. “That comes into play with not only academics, but their dedication to developing their players after getting out of football and making sure they’re in the right degree.”