Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Illinois lineman eyeing trip to Fayetteville
Sam Pittman, Arkansas' offensive line coach, communicates with coaches in the press box on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 during the game against Louisiana-Lafayette at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
Offensive lineman Gabe Megginson plans to visit Arkansas because the Razorbacks play in the SEC and he’s confident the Hogs are on the right path for success.
“They have a very good tradition,” Megginsin said. “They play big-boy football every week, That’s a big factor. They’re competing against the best every week so that’s huge and they have great coaches. They’re really going to rebuild it and turn it around here soon.”
Megginson, 6-5, 280, 5.2 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Jacksonville, Illinois received a scholarship offer from Arkansas last week to go along with his other 23 offers, including Ohio State, Illinois, Louisville, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Penn State. Video highlights CLICK HERE
He said offensive line coach Sam Pittman informed him that he’ll have 17 linemen drafted into the NFL after this years draft. He also likes the reputation of Coach Bret Bielema has with strong offensive line play.
“He had great success there,” Megginson said of Bielema’s time at Wisconsin. “That’s an O-line factory so I know he definitely knows who to recruit on the O-line. He’ll definitely get some guys he expects to do well.”
In Tuesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said Megginson plays with an attitude.
“He impresses you with his mean, tough, nasty, aggressive style of play,” Lemming said.
Megginson, who reports a 345-pound bench press, 300 power clean, 435 squat and 515 dead lift, said he embraces the physicality of playing on the line.
“Finishing a block is one of the greatest feelings ,” Megginson said. “You just want to do it every time. That’s what I strive for just finishing the block. I just try to be an athletic left tackle. I think I strive to be that and block as hard as I can. Pass protect and run block the best I can.”
He visited Nebraska on Saturday and also plans to visit Missouri, Ohio State, Penn State and North Carolina State. The lack of publicity for offensive linemen doesn’t concern Megginson.
“I don’t mind at all getting...everyone says you don’t get a lot of recognition, but you go into knowing that,” Megginson said. “So just doing the tough job is what I really like it. I like the competition everybody is trying to be stronger, faster than everyone else on the frontline.”
Megginson is looking for an comfort level at the school of his choice.
“Relationships and just how I think I’ll succeed there,” said Megginson, who received his first offer from Akron as the end of his sophomore year. “If I can see myself being successful and making a difference.”