Razorbacks land top-rated JUCO DE

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Saturday, February 10, 2018
An Arkansas Razorback helmet at Chad Morris introductory press conference Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.
Photo by Andy Shupe
An Arkansas Razorback helmet at Chad Morris introductory press conference Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.

Arkansas Coach Chad Morris landed the top junior-college defensive end Friday, beating out Texas A&M, Florida and others.

Dorian Gerald announced his decision at West Florence High School in South Carolina, where he was the all-time sack leader. He's the 17th signee for the 2018 class.

He told WPDE-TV sports director Brandon Dunn of Conway, S.C., that the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville expects him to make a major impact.

"They want me to come in and contribute and make an immediate impact," Gerald said. "They don't really go the juco route. I think they offered like three juco guys this year. They don't really go the juco route unless they need somebody to come in and play right away, and that's their huge need because they are transitioning from a 3-4 to a 4-3."

Gerald, 6-3, 265 pounds of College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., had more than 30 scholarship offers from schools such as Texas A&M, Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU and Nebraska.

The SEC was a big draw for him.

"It's huge," Gerald said. "If you look it up, a lot of guys get drafted from the SEC, particularly offensive linemen and defensive linemen."

He officially visited Arkansas, Texas A&M, Florida and Louisville. ESPN rated Gerald the No. 1 defensive end and No. 4 overall junior-college prospect.

Gerald had a previous relationship with defensive coordinator John Chavis when he was at Texas A&M.

"He moved to Arkansas, brought a great staff with him, and I just felt it was best," Gerald said. "I prayed, and this is what it came down to."

Gerald had no offers after his senior year at West Florence, then attended Palmetto Prep Academy but still had no offers before going to junior college. He wanted to announce where his roots began.

"It means everything," Gerald said. "This is what we dreamed of. This is what we did this for. This is why I took the leap to California, and this is what we did it for."

He and his family were blown away by what they saw when they officially visited Fayetteville Jan. 31-.Feb 2.

"A lot of people don't know, but Arkansas' facilities are great," Gerald said. "They can compete with the best of them. My mom and dad were with me and they can tell you. They are up there with the best from Texas A&M to Florida, Florida State -- all of them."

Gerald recorded 42 tackles, 10 sacks and 19 tackles for loss this past season, and 54 tackles, 12 sacks and 24 tackles for loss in his first season in junior college.

He made a strong connection with the Razorbacks' coaches.

"I love the coaches and I believe in them," Gerald said. "I like what they stand for. They stand for a lot of the same things that I stand for and what my family taught me to believe in. That's it."


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Sports on 02/10/2018


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