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:
Georgia RB fits Arkansas’ style
Arkansas Assistant Coach Joel Thomas works with the Razorbacks during practice on Saturday, March 30, 2013 in Fayetteville.
After talking to Arkansas running backs coach Joel Thomas for about three weeks, running back Mon Denson of LaGrange, Ga., received a scholarship offer from the Hogs.
Denson, 5-11 1/ 2, 207 pounds, 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash, woke up from a nap Wednesday evening and noticed a direct message from Thomas asking him to call him. Denson called and was told of the offer, his 12th.
“He just loves the way I run the ball,” Denson said. “It’s their type of style of running the ball.”
Denson also has offers from North Carolina, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and West Virginia.
“I told Coach Thomas that when I get the offer, I’ll have to get over there and look at Arkansas,” Denson said. “I love the school. I just like it because of all of the big backs who have played there.”
Denson, who attends the same school that produced former Razorbacks linebacker Sam Olajubutu, grew up admiring former Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.
“I used to watch them when he played,” said Denson, who has a 300-pound bench press. “He would run over anyone.”
Denson said he appreciates Thomas’ approach.
“I stay in touch with Coach,” Denson said. “I like him. He’s a nice, cool guy. When I talk to a coach I get a feel for if they’re giving me BS or if they’re just being straight up. He’s that type of guy, he’s just being straight up with me.”
Unlike a lot of prospects, Denson isn’t overly concerned about playing in the SEC.
“It really doesn’t matter which conference,” said Denson, who is favoring North Carolina. “I’m not a big conference guy. I just want to play football and get my education.”PICKING UP STEAM
Arkansas has shown an ability to sign highly recruited offensive linemen from across the nation under Coach Bret Bielema and offensive line coach Sam Pittman.
The Razorbacks have signed eight offensive linemen from eight different states in the past two recruiting classes.
About two weeks ago, Pittman and running backs coach Joel Thomas extended a scholarship offer to Calvin Throckmorton, an offensive lineman from Newport High School in Bellevue, Wash.
Throckmorton, 6-5, 280 pounds, 5.1 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has scholarship offers from six other schools, including Washington, Washington State, Oregon and California. He said didn’t expect a school like Arkansas to be interested in him.
“It’s definitely a little farther than I ever thought I would come in contact with during the process,” Throckmorton said. “It’s really exciting to me, not like in a selfish way, but my name is kind of getting out there. I was really excited to get that offer.”
Thomas coached running backs at the University of Washington for four seasons before arriving in Fayetteville. Throckmorton is the second prospect from the state to receive an offer from the Hogs.
“Sounds like a guy that would be there for his players,” Throckmorton said of Thomas.
Throckmorton didn’t expect to have so many opportunities to play on the highest level of college football.
“Playing college wasn’t a goal of mine, but it was like if I get that opportunity I’m going to strive for that, and now it is my goal,” he said. “I’m working towards that goals, and it’s something I really want to do.”
Like most offensive linemen, Throckmorton relishes the chance to pull and pancake block linebackers and defensive backs.
“I think it shows my athleticism and shows I can keep up with the running back on the outside and be able to open up holes,” said Throckmorton, who has a 27-inch vertical jump. “I like getting up a head of steam and being able to pop guys.”
E-mail Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports, Pages 34 on 03/16/2014