Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Hogs recruiting Louisiana teammates
Arkansas has extended a scholarship offer to one prospect at Ponchatoula High School in Louisiana and eyeing another.
Defensive end Reggie Walker, 6-2, 230, 4.56 seconds in the 40 yard dash, received an offer from the Hogs last week to go along with ones from Arizona State, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech and others. Video highlights CLICK HERE
Ponchatoula Hank Tierney said the Hogs being Walker’s first SEC bodes well for Arkansas.
“He has a ton of offers, but Arkansas is the first SEC school to offer him and I would say it’s a very good move on their part,” Tierney said.
Playing in Class 5A, the highest classification in Louisiana, Walker recorded 72 tackles, 15 sacks, 13 tackles for losses, 3 forced fumbles and recovered 2 fumbles last year.
“He plays hard every play, he’s very strong in the weight room, a real good kid,” Tierney said. “We’re excited to get an offer from a great school like Arkansas.”
Tierney believes Walker will grow beyond his 6-2 frame.
“Reggie had a brother that played at Mississippi State that’s 6-4, so he may grow a little bit more,” Tierney said. “He’s only 17.”
Walker has the ability to play another position.
“Reggie could play linebacker,” Tierney said. “He’s a big, athletic kid. A great basketball player the whole deal, but he’s only played D-end for us.”
Arkansas is recruiting quarterback Christian Campbell as a receiver and hopes to see him at camp.
“Christian is probably, if not the best football player, one of the top three or four football players in the state,” Tierney said. “Christian’s problem is he plays quarterback for us in an option offense. He gained 2,000 yards rushing last year. People are projecting him somewhere else. I guess the SEC schools are wanting to get him into camp and see f he could play somewhere else.”
Campbell, 6-1, 195, 4.51 seconds in the 40 yard dash, has offers from Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Arkansas State, Southern Miss and others. The Yellow Jackets have offered him as a quarterback. Video highlights CLICK HERE
“He’s like Reggie, he has a bunch of really good offers, but no SEC offers," Tierney said. "I think they’re trying to project him. Can he play receiver? Can he play safety? I have no doubt in my mind he could do either one, but because he’s only played quarterback here I guess that’s the question.”
“Christian started as a sophomore here, which usually doesn’t happen.”
Razorback receivers coach Michael Smith, a New Orleans native, and Tierney go way back.
“I was actually coaching at a Catholic high school in New Orleans when Mike was playing,” said Tierney, who has been coaching for 30 years. “I coached against him in the same district. Mike played at high school and I coached at ArchBishop Shaw high school.”
Tierney is also familiar with linebackers coach Randy Shannon.
“We had a bunch of kids at Shaw go to Miami when Randy Shannon was there,” Tierney said. “So we have some ties to the University of Arkansas. We were happy to see those guys in Ponchatoula recruiting.”
He recalls going to Miami and being in awe of the coaching staff.
“We went there as a staff,” he said. “They had a bunch of big name guys, Tommy Tuberville and a guy named Ed Orgeron, who was the head coach at Ole Miss and at Southern Cal for a while. But they said ‘Coach, the one you need to talk to is a guy named Randy Shannon, who was a GA’. Man, he was as sharp as a tack. He was brilliant. I remember thinking to myself this guy is going places and sure enough in a few years he was the head coach.”