Recruiting Guy:

Hogs' signees can step in and play right away

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, February 8, 2019
Joe T. Robinson defensive end Zach Williams looks toward the sideline during a game against Rogers on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Little Rock.
Photo by Thomas Metthe
Joe T. Robinson defensive end Zach Williams looks toward the sideline during a game against Rogers on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Little Rock.

University of Arkansas football Coach Chad Morris and his staff's latest recruiting class ranks No. 23 nationally and features 10 four-star prospects, according to ESPN.

When looking toward next season, the nine early enrollees are good bets for immediate help, but one shouldn't dismiss the 16 others in the class who report this summer.

Junior college offensive linemen Myron Cunningham and Chibueze Nwanna are early enrollees and are being counted on to help right away.

Cunningham, 6-6, 305 pounds, possesses very nice athletic ability highlighted by excellent feet.

Nwanna, 6-8, 315, looks to be 350 pounds, not the 315 he's listed. He's one of the largest linemen I've seen sign with Arkansas. Despite his size, he moves well for his size and has the long arms desired for an offensive tackle.

Receivers Trey Knox, 6-4, 210, and Shamar Nash, 6-2, 190, are also early enrollees.

Knox has tight end size with receiver speed, and that will give Arkansas a potential mismatch and a big body in the red zone. Nash has the speed and acceleration needed to create separation.

Two defensive backs who enrolled in January and one that signed Wednesday are good candidates to play right away.

Cornerbacks Greg Brooks Jr., 5-11, 175, and Devin Bush, 6-0, 187, will benefit from enrolling early.

Brooks' athleticism shouldn't be a surprise. His father played collegiately at Michigan and Southern Miss before being drafted in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

Bush shows great speed while also being very physical which will help him against the bigger receivers in the SEC. Morris called safety Jalen Catalon one of the top five players he's seen in high school.

Catalon, 5-10, 180, shows a tremendous burst to the ball and is a sure tackler. I've said numerous times he has one of the best videos of any safety I've seen. He missed his senior season after suffering an ACL injury in the first game of the season.

Defensive end Mataio Soli, 6-3, 227, is another that will benefit being an early enrollee. He had 22.5 sacks as a senior which is eighth best nationally according to MaxPreps. Being coached by his father and former Razorbacks nose guard Junior Soli probably has him ahead of the other freshmen defensive ends in regards of technique and fundamentals.

Several others summer enrollees could contribute.

Quarterback KJ Jefferson, 6-3, 210, has talents that could be used in certain packages in the fall while learning the offense and college game.

Receiver Treylon Burks, 6-3, 225, had an ACL injury in the fifth game of the season. He's rehabbing and appears to be on pace to be ready in the fall.

Defensive lineman Enoch Jackson Jr., 6-0, 290, is exceptionally quick and agile in the same mold of former Hog Darius Philon.

Defensive end Collin Clay, 6-5, 255, has the size and tools to play immediately. He could move inside if he adds weight.

Tight end Hudson Henry, 6-5, 230, has better speed than his older brother and Los Angles Chargers tight end Hunter, but needs to add weight and strength.

There are several signees in the class that might not be ready to play as freshmen but have tremendous upside. Early enrollee and defensive end Zach Williams, 6-4, 230, is my pick as the freshman with the most upside. He runs a legit 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash. That, his burst off the ball and relentless motor, along with a frame that could easily add 30 to 40 pounds, are the makings of an elite defensive end.

Ricky Stromberg, 6-4, 280, is one of the more athletic offensive linemen in the nation for the 2019 class. He recorded the best 2018 Nike testing results of offensive guards or centers in the nation with a score of 103.86 last spring despite weighing 320 pounds, including an extremely impressive 4.46 seconds in the shuttle.

Linebacker Zach Zimos, 6-4, 215, looks and runs a a greyhound. He oozes with potential because of his speed and frame.

There are several signees that fit the underrated category. Offensive lineman Beaux Limmer, 6-5, 270, is athletic and nasty on the field. He has the potential to be All-SEC before he leaves Fayetteville.

Running back A'Monate Spivey, 6-1, 207, possesses good speed, power and the ability to cut on the dime. A consensus 3-star prospect, Spivey could prove scouts wrong in the future.

Defensive back Malik Chavis, 6-2, 190, is a multi-sport athlete that could play cornerback or safety in Fayetteville.

Email Richard Davenport at

Sports on 02/08/2019


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