The Recruiting Guy:

Hogs recruit sees light, starts to shine

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, August 4, 2017
An Arkansas helmet is shown before an NCAA college football game against Auburn, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)
An Arkansas helmet is shown before an NCAA college football game against Auburn, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)

Coaches often talk about the light coming on for a player when the athlete starts flourishing after not fully reaching their potential.

That could be said about the Arkansas' football team's newest commitment, Maureese Wren of Mesquite (Texas) Horn.

Coach Mike Overton said Wren made himself into a major-college prospect when he became more dedicated, and scholarship offers from schools like Colorado, Baylor, Missouri, Washington and Utah.

"He was gifted, but he didn't always work hard," Overton said. "I think this last year and half the light kind of came on for him and the importance of committing to working hard and being the best player and athlete you can be."

Wren is slated to play outside linebacker and possibly some receiver in Fayetteville. Overton said one of the joys is seeing players Wren fulfill their potential.

"I think for me to watch him go from being so-so, not as committed as you would like, to a guy really committed and working hard and wanting to be the best he can be, that's a neat thing to see," Overton said.

Overton said Wren, 6-4, 216 pounds, is a likable young man.

"He has a very easy disposition, good personality," Overton said. "He's never too up or too down. He usually always has a smile on his face."

ENOS' DAUGHTER HOOPS UP

Arkansas Razorbacks offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Dan Enos usually only concerns himself with Hog football recruiting. On Monday, he also became a St. Louis University women's basketball fan after his daughter, Lia committed to play basketball for the Billikens.

Enos, 5-10, chose the Billikens over scholarship offers from Western Michigan, Central Michigan, and Tennessee-Martin while drawing interest from Arkansas,

"'It was the best fit for me overall academically, athletically, and socially," Lia Enos said. "St. Louis University has great academics, great coaching staff, and have an unbelievable program."

Lia Enos averaged 20 points a game for Shiloh Christian as a sophomore and about 8 points a game for the Arkansas Banshees in spring and summer basketball. Because her father is in the middle of preseason camp, any celebration of her pledge will have to wait.

"As soon as my dad gets time, we will definitely celebrate," Enos said.

Enos, who can play power forward or shooting guard, said her father's background of being a DI athlete and coach helped her know the importance of being dedicated and tough.

"He has helped me so much through the process said Enos, whose mother Jane played golf at Southern Illinois. "He helped me work out, and always encouraged me to get out and have an excellent work ethic. He's a very tough guy and he has definitely instilled that in me as well. And finally, he's supportive, yet very honest with his criticism."

DOUBLE JUMPER

Arkansas Hawks chairman Bill Ingram has been coaching youth basketball since 1998 and this year was the first time he moved a player up two age groups.

Guard Khalen Robinson, 15, started off the spring with the 16-under Hawks, then moved up to the 17-under squad

"That's pretty unusual, but that's after we watched him work and watched his progress," Ingram said. "He got a chance to practice with those guys all the time. It was obvious we needed to move him up."

Ingram said he has no doubts Robinson, 6-0, 160 pounds, is a major-college prospect.

"When he played with our 16-year-old team, he dominated, but we needed him on our 17 team." Ingram said. "It's obvious we think he's a Power 5 player."

Robinson led Episcopal Collegiate to the Class 3A state title as a freshman and was named the championship game's Most Valuable Player.

Because the 17-under Hawks had three Arkansas Razorbacks commitments, a Mississippi State commitment and highly regarded T.J. Moss, a guard with offers from the Hogs and others, Robinson wasn't asked to score much.

He averaged 2.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and an assist for the Hawks at the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas last week. He had 6 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in a 63-61 victory over Exum Elite Utah in the event's first game.

Arkansas, Indiana and Alabama are showing interest in Robinson.

"It's going to help him big time next year," Ingram said of moving Robinson up. "We talked to him and his parents, and that's what they wanted."

E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 08/04/2017

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