The Recruiting Guy:

JUCO defender says position nonfactor

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Tuesday, October 17, 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)

The Arkansas Razorbacks are in good shape to get an official visit from junior-college outside linebacker/defensive end Bryant Pirtle Jr. after he received a scholarship offer from the Hogs recently.

"That was pretty cool," Pirtle said. "It kind of came from nowhere. I wasn't expecting it, but definitely glad they offered."

Pirtle, 6-4, 235 pounds of Pima Community College in Arizona, received the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville offer on Oct. 5 and now has about 25 offers from schools such as Texas A&M, Arizona, Utah, Louisville, Arizona State and Houston.

He said the Hogs will "very likely" get an official visit from him.

"Don't know when because I'm in season right now, but it will probably be in December," Pirtle said.

Pirtle said he hasn't been timed in the 40-yard dash since he was a junior at DeSales High School in Louisville, Ky., when he recorded 4.52 seconds.

"But I'm faster," Pirtle said.

As a senior at DeSales, he had 82 carries for 645 yards and 8 touchdowns at running back and 82 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry while playing defensive end.

He's a prime candidate to fill the outside linebacker spot manned by senior Dwayne Eugene.

Pirtle has been communicating with inside linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves.

"He said he liked my film, he liked the way I play, and he thinks I can really come in and compete for a spot," Pirtle said.

Pirtle, who committed to Western Kentucky out of high school before making his way to junior college, has recorded 36 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 3 tackles for loss in four games this season. He had 29 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 4 tackles for loss in eight games as a freshman.

The Hogs affiliation with the SEC is a big draw for Pirtle.

"I've always wanted to play in the SEC," he said. "It's a great program and a great fan base. Everything I want, the program has that to offer."

Pirtle has official visits set for Utah on Nov. 24 and Arizona on Dec. 8. while also considering a trip to Texas A&M and Oklahoma. His parents plan to accompany him on his visits.

He will lean on his parents for advice while also looking for the right atmosphere.

"My mom and dad have to be on board and like where I'm going. It has to be all about feel," Pirtle said. "That's why I'm waiting until I visit all these places and make a decision. I don't want to rush anything."

Pirtle plans to graduate in December and enroll at his new school in January. He will have three years to play two.

He's not one to concern himself about a particular position.

"I've always just loved to play football," he said. "I really didn't consider myself at any position. I'm a guy that just likes to play."

Pima coaches have taken advantage of Pirtle's size and speed by moving him around on defense.

"This year alone, I've played every position on defense minus tackle and corner," Pirtle said. "Most of my recruiting coming out of high school I played running back. That kind of helps me with the acceleration and change of direction and things like that."

Email Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 10/17/2017

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