The Recruiting Guy:

Teammate giving receiver Arkansas support

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, February 17, 2017
Bryson Jackson
Bryson Jackson

Arkansas is getting help in the recruitment of highly regarded junior receiver Bryson Jackson from a football target and a baseball signee.

Jackson, 6-1, 180, 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of St. Pius X High School in Houston is teammates with Razorback target and sophomore quarterback Grant Gunnell and friends with Humble (Texas) Atascocita outfielder Alerick Soularie, an Arkansas signee.

Gunnell has visited Fayetteville and has numerous ties to the university, including his grandfather Jim Price, who played for the 1964 national championship team.

Jackson, a wide receiver, has 13 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Kansas State, Miami, Penn State, Missouri and others. He said Gunnell was happy about his offer from the Hogs.

"It was a pretty special one knowing that my quarterback --that's pretty much where his family is from," Jackson said. "To see him get so excited for me and jumping up and down. Being there to support me means a lot because it wouldn't be possible without him."

Gunnell's father, Chris, earned his master's degree from Arkansas in 1994 while his mother, Julie, graduated from Arkansas in 1990.

"They told me it was a great place to be and that's it's not going to be just a four-year opportunity of greatness, but it will live on with you during the lifetime," Jackson said. "It will be some place I definitely look into because they gave me some great information about it."

Jackson is a three-sport athlete, recording 69 catches for 1,607 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior. He had best times of 10.6 seconds in the 100 meters, 21.4 in the 200 and 47.0 in the 400 and batted .314 as a center fielder.

Gunnell and his father plan to visit Arkansas on March 31 and April 1 and Jackson may tag along.

"I was suppose to have a baseball game, but I'm going to work with my coaches and see if I can fit it in and miss a couple of games," Jackson said.

National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network rates Jackson a 4-star prospect.

'He's athletic, has strong hands with quick feet," Lemming said. "He runs well-disciplined routes and is well coached.

Jackson would like to play football and baseball in college, saying "whatever schools I sit down and talk to will most likely allow me to do both. They will be the schools that end up on my final four or final five list that I'll probably release during the season or after the season."

Soularie is hoping Jackson will join him in Fayetteville.

"He's trying to get me to come," Jackson said. "He said 'Man, you can come play football and baseball together.' "

Jackson, who has a 3.7 grade-point average, is looking to coach after football.

"I would like to become a coach and give back, high school or college," Jackson said. "I would really like to give back to those people put their time and efforts into me."

Community service and helping different organizations are important to Jackson.

"I make sure I go back and give to my community and people in need and people with disabilities because there's nothing better than seeing somebody smile," he said.

High ceiling

Jonesboro Coach Randy Coleman has been high on sophomore offensive lineman Darius Thomas' natural ability for some time and Wednesday he received scholarship offers from LSU and Memphis.

Thomas, 6-6, 291 pounds, started at right tackle for the Hurricane last season. Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. and offensive line coach Kurt Anderson are expected to make spring visits to watch Thomas and junior offensive tackle Noah Gatlin, 6-7, 300.

"First and most important, Darius is a great kid," Coleman said. "Darius has a chance to make money someday playing football. He obviously has good size, but his wingspan is over 7 feet and he has great feet. He's only 15 years old so the ceiling on this young man is crazy high. He comes from a good family and we look forward to seeing him develop over the next two years."

E-mail Richard Davenport at

rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 02/17/2017

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