Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Elite DE planning UA visit
Arkansas became the eighteenth school to extend a scholarship offer to defensive end James Lockhart IV on Tuesday morning.
“It’s an SEC school on the rise,” Lockhart said. “If they have a winning season this year that will definitely catch my attention. So I’m just taking it one day at a time right now.”
Lockhart, 6-4, 253 pounds of Ennis, Texas recorded 122 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 21 quarterback hurries and 3 forced fumbles this past season. He’s rated the No. 14 defensive end and the No. 82 overall prospect in the nation by ESPN.
Shortly after he called his lead recruiter, receivers coach Michael Smith and was offered, his mother learned of the news on Twitter.
“She called me at school and she had seen the news,” said Lockhart, who recorded a a time of 4.72 seconds in the 40 yard dash last summer. “She was happy and she actually wants to go visit herself. We’re going to talk about it and see if I can make a visit.”
Lockhart has also been talking to defensive line and specialist coach Rory Segrest.
“He seems like a really cool dude,” said Lockhart, who plans to visit the Hogs. “I can relate to him in some certain areas. I think it would be a good relationship.”
Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Ole Miss are others who have offered Lockhart. The chance to play in the SEC is appealing.
“The SEC is the closest thing to Sunday nights and Monday night football,” Lockhart said.
Lockhart also likes that Segrest coached five years for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Hopefully he would share his wisdom with me and hopefully better myself as a man and as an athlete,” Lockhart said.
The outgoing Lockhart, who has a 3.83 grade point average, is appreciative of his raising.
“My mom and my dad both and my grandparents they’ve done a good job,” Lockhart said. “They keep me away from bad things. They’ve taught me right from wrong. It’s blessing from God to have people like that in my life and guide me down the right path.”
In addition to wanting to visit Arkansas, Lockhart is looking to make trips to Alabama and Auburn, but is hoping to visit more.
“There’s a lot of schools I want to go visit,” he said. “For me it’s trying to find the time and on top of that it’s just the money. That's just hard on my parents because every weekend we have something going on. Like going to Alabama, that’s like a couple hundred dollars in gas, food, hotel if we get one.”
Lockhart has a long list of things he’ll consider before signing on the dotted line with a school.
“Do I like my surroundings?” Lockhart said. “Do I see myself getting playing time? I’m not saying getting to start, but get into the rotation as a freshman. Do I see myself starting as a sophomore? Do I like this community? Do I like this environment? Do I have a good relationship with my coaches? Things like that.”