The Recruiting Guy:

JUCO forward likes Anderson's style at UA

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson instructs players during practice Friday, March 15, 2018, in Detroit.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson instructs players during practice Friday, March 15, 2018, in Detroit.

The University of Arkansas extended a scholarship offer to junior-college forward AJ Bramah on Friday, and the interest is mutual.

"I'm highly interested in Arkansas based on the fact that they play in the SEC," Bramah said. "Which is a conference you can't take any plays off. A very athletic and physical conference."

Bramah, 6-7, 185 pounds, of Sheridan College in Wyoming has 19 other scholarship offers from schools such as East Carolina, Iona, Florida International, Troy, Stephen F. Austin and Loyola Marymount. He plans to make an official visit to Fayetteville in the spring.

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He communicates with Coach Mike Anderson and assistant TJ Cleveland.

"Coach Mike Anderson said that he needs the best junior-college basketball player, and he believes it's me," Bramah said.

He attended San Leandro High School in San Leandro, Calif., where he averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds as a senior before making his way to junior college. Bramah averaged 14 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the three-point line as a freshman.

"I can rebound, make my teammates better by facilitating, and also I can score when I have to," said Bramah, who had a season-high 31 points against Eastern Wyoming College. "I need to improve in all areas of my game, but what I've been really focusing on is my three-point shot. It has gotten a lot better."

Bramah hasn't decided on what other schools he plans to officially visit, but he does know what he desires in his next school.

"Great relationship with the coaching staff, a winning program," he said. "Somewhere I can get pushed every day."

He said Cleveland stays in touch while being honest during the recruiting process.

"He always checks up on me and stays in contact," Bramah said. "He's a coach that keeps it real. He always tells me that the SEC is a physical and athletic league, and that he thinks I'm a perfect fit."

Bramah's athleticism, ability to score and his defense fit what Arkansas likes to do offensively and defensively. He's researched the Hogs online and likes what he sees.

"I liked their style of play," said Bramah, who has a 6-11 wingspan. "Uptempo, run, and the players all athletic."

Great showing

Arkansas defensive end commitment Mataio Soli continued his strong senior season Friday night.

Soli, 6-3, 227 pounds, from Douglasville (Ga.) Douglas County received the Atlanta Touchdown Club Lineman of the Week award Monday after recording 9 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 3 sacks in a 24-17 victory over South Paulding.

In four games, Soli has 44 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He picked Arkansas over more than 50 scholarship offers from schools such as Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Florida State, Oregon, Stanford and Virginia.

CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming rates Soli a four-star prospect.

"Mataio is another one of those great Georgia pass rushing defensive end prospects that's very quick, long armed with an explosive first step that consistently plays off blocks and makes plays," Lemming said. "I can't say enough good things about him and his potential. He's one of the fastest rising defensive prospects in the south."

Email Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 09/18/2018

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