Toll latest to draw in-state offer from Hogs

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2019
Junction City linebacker Tanner Barnett (47) and defensive end Kyle Kidwell (48) tackle Hazen quarterback Blayne Toll (10) during the first quarter of Junction City's 36-22 win in the Class 2A state championship game on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Photo by Thomas Metthe
Junction City linebacker Tanner Barnett (47) and defensive end Kyle Kidwell (48) tackle Hazen quarterback Blayne Toll (10) during the first quarter of Junction City's 36-22 win in the Class 2A state championship game on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

While Arkansas football coaches continue to hit the recruiting trail to finish off their 2019 class that is currently ranked 18th nationally by Rivals, they have done plenty of work on the 2020 class as well.

That includes offering a fourth in-state junior in Hazen standout Blayne Toll (6-foot-5, 235 pounds), who is projected as a tight end or defensive end in college. Arkansas is hosting a few sophomores and juniors for unofficial visits on Saturday.

Toll got his Razorback offer Monday and joins Morrilton quarterback Jacolby Criswell (6-1, 210), Bryant linebacker Catrell Wallace (6-6, 210) and Jonesboro defensive end Gashed Stewart (6-2, 216) as the quartet of 2020 in-state offers so far.

It is a class that Arkansas coach Chad Morris, who is looking to sign 29 players (four who count back to 2018) in the 2019 group, said is not likely to reach the limit of 25.

"If I had to guess right now, in the 2020 class we'll sign anywhere from 19 to 23," Morris said during his press conference on Dec. 19. "That's just a guesstimate right now, but these 19 to 23 will address the needs that we've got to have and keep hitting on speed, depth."

Morris made it clear at that time that he is looking for guys that are good enough they might play only three years for the Razorbacks before heading to the NFL.

"Guys have to be able to come in and compete to play," Morris said. "You're in a time now where a lot of these guys, if you're recruiting the right way, they're with you three years. That's what we're after. That's what we want. We want guys to be able to come in here, put on a path to graduate in three years, and all of a sudden they're some of the top guys that the NFL is wanting. If they're doing that, then we're recruiting the right way."

There could be additional in-state offers handed out this spring as coaches go by schools for evaluations or during the Razorback summer football camps.

Some of the possibilities are Little Rock Christian wide receiver Chris Hightower (6-2, 185), West Memphis linebacker Kendarrius Moore (6-0, 210), Bryant defensive end Austin Bailey (5-11, 255), North Little Rock offensive lineman Erin Smith (6-5, 280) and El Dorado offensive lineman Dalton Perdue (6-6, 320).

But overall the 2020 talent does not appear as strong as the current group of seniors in-state and thus will not fill up much of the class.

Per Rivals, the four offers from Arkansas are the fewest in-state offers of any of the SEC's 14 schools.

Florida leads the way with 51 offers while Texas A&M has sent out 33; Georgia 29; Tennessee 19; Missouri 16; Vanderbilt and Auburn 14 each; Mississippi State, 13; Alabama, Kentucky and LSU all with 11; Ole Miss with 10; and South Carolina 7.

So where does Arkansas go for help? Texas for certain.

The Razorbacks have reportedly issued 54 of its over 150 total offers in the 2020 class to prospects in the Lone Star State.

Other states Arkansas has gotten double-digit offers out already are Tennessee (16), Florida (14) and Georgia (13).

Toll has reported offers from Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee, TCU, Rutgers, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Central Michigan, Kansas, Southern Miss and Arkansas State.

Criswell, who missed most of his junior season due to a preseason injury, has offers from Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Colorado, Memphis, North Carolina State and Arkansas State.

Wallace has offers from Arkansas, Virginia, Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe.

Stewart has offers from Arkansas, Arkansas State, Houston and Liberty so far.

Sports on 01/24/2019

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.