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:
Cal commit has 'mind blowing' visit to Arkansas
NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE Arkansas receiver River Warnock (left) and defensive back Micahh Smith take part in a drill Saturday, April 1, 2017, during practice at the university practice field in Fayetteville. Visit nwadg.com/photos to see more photographs from practice.
California defensive end commitment Nick Alftin was given a heads up on what to expect on Monday’s visit to Arkansas, but wasn't prepared for what he experienced.
He and Razorback special teams quality control coach Tanner Burns communicated before the trip.
“Coach Burns asked me ‘Are you ready to get your mind blown?’,” Alftin said. “But I could not have imagined that it could be so amazing. He was right, my mind was blown.”
Alftin, 6-5, 240 of San Jose, (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty has scholarship offers from California, Boise State, Colorado, San Jose State and Wyoming. He said it was an honor to talk to Coach Bret Bielema.
“We talked about his plans for recruiting and said that he really liked my size and ability,” Alftin said. “That was flattering.”
He recorded 50 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hurries, 4 pass deflections and blocked punt. He also cherished the chance to talk to strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert.
“He is incredible,” Alftin said. “After only 20 minutes with him, he taught me a bunch of things about my squats and hips. He really knows his stuff...he's a genius.”
Alftin’s coach is former Hog and coach Keith Burns and the father of Tanner. He enjoyed spending time with the elder Burns, who took in Arkansas’ scrimmage on Saturday.
“They are both super passionate about Arkansas, so you can't help, but to also feel the same way,” Alftin said.
Bielema spoke well about his talent and told him the Razorbacks would send a coach out to his school to evaluate him during the spring. He would embrace an offer from Arkansas.
“The SEC is a outstanding league,” Alftin said. “It was great to see another school with great tradition and players.”
Alftin said his coach talked highly of his time as a player and a coach.
“He said he'd always be a Razorback and proud to be part of it's football history,” Alftin said.
He said Tanner feels the same about the Hogs and his pride was evident during Monday’s tour of the campus.
“Tanner feels the same way about the program and I can see there is something special there,” Alftin said. “Tanner Burns did an awesome job showing me around campus and really made me feel like a Razorback for the day.”
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