Arkansas engaged in battle for Jonesboro 2019 OL Darius Thomas

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Monday, February 12, 2018
Darius Thomas
Darius Thomas

— As one of the best offensive line prospects to come out of Arkansas in years, Jonesboro junior Darius Thomas (6-6, 310) is a wanted man with numerous options.

The Razorbacks will have to fend off Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Clemson, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Missouri and many others to land Thomas, a consensus four-star prospect and one of six in-state 2019 prospects Arkansas has offered so far.

“Recruiting has gone really well for me and I have been able to visit a lot of campuses and see a lot,” Thomas said. “I now am in the process of narrowing things down to the schools that I know that I would really enjoy playing for and would have the chance to play for in 2019.

“I have been to Arkansas, Georgia, Auburn and Mississippi State,” Thomas said. “I am looking at a lot of prospect days, but I don’t really have it planned out right now.”

However, he does have a plan to close his recruitment before Jonesboro starts its 2018 regular season.

“I am going to commit before the season starts, not have that on my mind and just be able to be focused on my last football season,” Thomas said.

The other 2019 in-state offers have gone to Pulaski Academy tight end Hudson Henry (6-5, 225), Warren receiver Treylon Burks (6-3, 205), Camden Fairview offensive lineman Stacey Wilkins (6-7, 280) and newly offered Joe T. Robinson defensive end Zach Williams (6-4, 225), who was offered Sunday.

Thomas’ first of some 20 offers was from the former Arkansas staff headed by Bret Bielema back on March 14, 2017.

Current Razorbacks head coach Chad Morris was quick to reassure Thomas he had one with the new staff as well and took his entire offensive staff to Jonesboro to see the standout.

“I like how the new Arkansas coaches recruit,” Thomas said. “They are very personable and I have really enjoyed the time that I have gotten a chance to be with them so far.”

He is eager to build on his relationship with new Razorback offensive line coach Dustin Fry.

“I have met him and he is a real good guy,” Thomas said. “He seemed like he really knows what he is talking about when he comes to the O-line. I can’t wait to get up there and sit down and visit with him more and get into it deeper.”

Thomas, who has visited Arkansas three times unofficially, obviously has the size of an SEC tackle and continues to refine his game.

“I thought I had a pretty good year,” he said. “I think I improved with both my run and pass blocking. I think my strength has always been my run blocking, but my pass blocking has really come on.”

Arkansas hopes to add a second Golden Hurricane standout in as many years as the Razorbacks signed Noah Gatlin (6-7, 300) on National Signing Day.

“Arkansas is getting a great player and a great person,” Thomas said of Gatlin. “He is just an all-around great guy. I enjoyed playing with him the two years that I did.”


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