Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Gragg looking to better his brother's class
Pine Bluff tight end Will Gragg (right) catches a pass as Bryant linebacker David Nossaman (8) defends during the first quarter Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 in Bryant.
On Saturday, Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and his staff hosted about 14 prospects, including some of the top in-state prospects. Bielema used the opportunity to stress the importance of the state’s best talent playing their college football in Fayetteville.
He mentioned the 2008 class that featured Tyler Wilson, Jarius Wright, Greg Childs and Chris Gragg and the impact it had on the program.
Pine Bluff tight end Will Gragg said his brother, Chris is fond of reminding him about the class.
“I hear everyday the impact they had,” said Gragg, who was one of the in-state recruits that visited the Hogs. “Because Chris and I go back and forth on which class is going to be the best. It just shows what you can do when you stay at home and how people love you.”
Gragg, 6-4, 238 pounds, 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has 16 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, LSU, Kentucky, Oregon, Ole Miss and Oklahoma. He said he saw firsthand how the Hog fans rally around the Razorbacks while attending Arkansas’ 87-75 victory over Georgia.
“I was with Chris and those guys and just seeing how the fans love them even after their playing days,” he said.
Chris, who played his first year with the Buffalo Bills this past season, lets his younger brother know the 2015 class has a ways to go before being compared to his class.
“He names off guys which we can’t compete with that yet, because we don’t know who’s going to be what,” Will Gragg said. “He names off Joe Adams, D.J. Williams and the Dennis Johnsons and Jarius Wright and all those guys. We can’t compete with that yet. It’s all fun. He’s saying his class is the best to ever come out of the state. He mentioned that with pride. So we want to make a believer out of him.”
Other in-state prospects visiting were North Little Rock receiver K.J. Hill, Fayetteville tight end C.J. O’Grady, Highland receiver Deon Stewart, Fayetteville safety Dre Greenlaw, Highland athlete Avery Johnson, Charleston quarterback Ty Storey, Conway offensive lineman Colton Jackson and Fort Smith Northside defensive end Daytrieon Dean.
Tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. spent the day with Gragg and O’Grady.
“He was with me and C.J. the whole time,” said Gragg, who reports Saturday’s visit helping Arkansas’ chances of landing him. “We went to the film room and got a little bit of film session and see how they do things and how they utilize the tight end. He wanted me and C.J. together so he could show clips on how much they use two tight end and three tight end sets.”
Gragg plans to attend the Nike SPARQ combine in Dallas on May 3.
“I’ll probably go visit Texas while I’m down there,” Gragg said. “That will probably be my next move until the summer time.”