Arkansas adds 2 grid commits in as many days

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Thursday, March 16, 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)

It's been a good past couple of days for the Arkansas football program, which now has a trio of four-star pledges among the four commits in its 2018 recruiting class.

The Razorback have added two commitments with Desoto, Texas defensive back Bryon Hanspard Jr. (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) committing to Arkansas on Wednesday, a day after Cartersville, Ill., tight end Luke Ford (6-7, 250) came aboard.

"First and foremost, before I say anything else, I just want to give God all the glory for it is due to him for blessing me with the ability that I have thus far," Hansspard said while announcing his decision via Twitter.

"Thank you to my wonderful parents, family, coaches, friends, loved ones, and all of you who have supported me through this process. I would like to thank each program very much for reaching out to me and making my decision very hard to choose from within this time period.

"Without further ado, after praying day after day, night after night, I'm pleased and truly honored to announce that I am committed to the University of Arkansas to pursue my academic career and my football career. God is great!"

Hanspard is the son of former Texas Tech tailback Byron Hanspard. Desoto downed Cibolo Steele 38-29 on Dec. 16 to win the Texas Class 6A Division championship.

Ford committed on Tuesday and chose Arkansas over Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Louisville, Oklahoma State and a host of others.

He dubbed Arkansas "Tight End U" after visiting Fayetteville this past weekend with former Razorbacks D.J. Williams, A.J. Derby and Hunter Henry all being drafted in recent years and Jeremy Sprinkle expected to be taken in this year's draft.

Arkansas' use of the tight end, having two Mackey Award winners and Bielema's history of having tight ends drafted into the NFL, also plays a big part in the Hogs' leading for Ford's signature, he said.

"They broke down all of the film," Ford said. "Broke down how they could use me in the offense and of course they use their tight ends. It's no secret they're a leader with everything with the use of the tight end. Mackey Award winners."

That duo joins Greenwood quarterback Connor Noland (6-1, 180) and Lucas (Texas) Lovejoy linebacker Bumper Pool (6-3, 225) - both four-star commits - as 2018 pledges to the Razorbacks so far.

Pool is the rated as the seventh-best player in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by the Dallas Morning News, while Hanspard is No. 19 on the same list.

Pool and Noland have been working hard to add other recruits to the 2018 class.

"We have talked to them about bumping us up and helping to create a strong class," Pool said.

"It's been great. A lot of the offensive linemen that (Arkansas offensive line) Coach (Kurt) Anderson have talked to would be a huge get for Arkansas because they have all been saying about how he is one of the greatest offensive line coaches in the country.

"They have all been getting a lot of information and are taking it with a lot of positivity and thinking about how they really want to go to Arkansas. It's exciting and I hope that when they come down to their decision, that me and Connor have done all we can get them to come down (to Arkansas)."

Sports on 03/16/2017

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