The Recruiting Guy:

Morrilton's Criswell lives up to hype at camp

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018
Morrilton sophomore quarterback Jacolby Criswell.
Photo by WholeHogSports
Morrilton sophomore quarterback Jacolby Criswell.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Morrilton junior Jacolby Criswell had one of the strongest showings of a quarterback at an Arkansas Razorbacks camp in a long time during Thursday's Razorback Elite QB/WR Academy.

Criswell, 6-1, 205 pounds, displayed a strong arm and accuracy throughout the camp. At the end of the day, his performance earned him a scholarship offer from the Hogs.


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"The offer is something I've been waiting on since the eighth grade," Criswell said. "It finally came, and I'm excited about it. It's huge when your state offers you, and I can't be more proud of myself, but I'm not done yet. I still have more things to prove and show."

He also has offers from Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Georgia, North Carolina State and others. Criswell often works with former Razorback and NFL quarterback Clint Stoerner, who sings Criswell's praises.

"If you see it come off his hand in person, it's game over," Stoerner said. "The combination of power, quickness and control in a phone booth action is rare at any level and translates to all systems. His intangibles are off the chart, big-time leader, fierce competitor and his ego is in check. If there's a better 2020 QB in the country, I wanna see him."

Coach Chad Morris and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock liked what they saw.

"They just said they really like me and they want to keep the good connection going," Criswell said.

Criswell completed 126 of 211 passes for 1,947 yards and 20 touchdowns while throwing 4 interceptions as a sophomore. He rushed 146 times for 969 yards and 14 touchdowns.

He appeared confident and relaxed during the camp and carried himself like a top national prospect.

"I just came in like I was the best guy," Criswell said. "I don't carry myself like I have a big head or anything, but you just have to have that confidence in yourself."

Stoerner has been impressed with Criswell from day one.

"The day he walked into throw the first time, I knew he was special," Stoerner said. "We had a very blunt conversation, and he assured me he was going to do everything it took on and off the field to be big time."

Criswell and University of Arkansas, Fayetteville senior linebacker Dre Greenlaw are half-brothers. The two hung out later in the evening after the offer from the Hogs.

"He was excited for me because of all the things we've been through since we were little, and we've never let those things get in the way," Criswell said.

Known target

Coach Chad Morris extended a scholarship offer to another junior quarterback with whom he is very familiar -- his son.

Chandler Morris, 6-0, 170 pounds, of Highland Park in Dallas recently received a scholarship offer from Clemson. He announced he had received an offer from the Hogs on Twitter on Friday night after a good performance at the Razorback Elite QB/WR Academy on Thursday.

He showed good arm strength along with accuracy during the Thursday camp, and he looked like a confident and seasoned quarterback.

Morris is expected to start for Highland Park this season after seeing limited time while playing behind Arkansas freshman quarterback John Stephen Jones, who led the Scots to their second consecutive Class 5A Division II state title last year.

Saturday visits

One of Louisiana's top junior prospects, receiver Jacobi Bellazin, made an unofficial visit to Fayetteville on Saturday.

Bellazin, 5-9, 175, of Livonia High School, reports 36 scholarship offers from schools such as Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, Michigan State and others.

Sophomore quarterback Aaron McLaughlin, 6-5, 225, of Suwanee (Ga.) Buford also made his way to Fayetteville for a visit Saturday.

He has offers from Arkansas, Michigan, Auburn, Georgia and others.

One of the elite receivers nationally, Elijah Higgins, 6-3, 215, of Austin (Texas) Bowie was another prospect to visit Saturday.

ESPN rates him a four-star recruit, the No. 24 receiver and No. 154 overall prospect. He has offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Michigan, Stanford, Notre Dame and others.

Email Richard Davenport at

Sports on 06/17/2018


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