Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Arkansas fans helping keep Woods on path
Receiver Mike Woods will forever have the distinction of giving the first oral commitment for Chad Morris as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
He switched his pledge from SMU to the Hogs early Sunday morning without seeing the campus. He will arrive late this afternoon for an official visit and his first chance to see his future home.
Woods, 6-2, 190 pounds, 4.43 in the 40-yard dash, of Magnolia, Texas, chose the Razorbacks over scholarship offers from Virginia, Washington State, Minnesota, Texas Tech, Colorado State, Iowa State, Houston and others. He's looking forward to talking to the players and coaches.
"I haven't seen the coaches in a while and I just want to have a good time and enjoy myself," Woods said. "I'm sure it will be fun and just see what I'm getting myself into."
A good bit of Woods' information about the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville has come from his interaction with Razorbacks fans on Twitter after he announced his pledge to the Hogs. The reputation of Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas being one of the better places to live in the nation was brought up.
"All the fans on Twitter have told me I need to check out Northwest Arkansas," Woods said. "They just kept going on about that."
Woods was astonished by the fans reaction to his commitment on Twitter.
"It's amazing, it's like crazy," Woods said. "I gained over 3,000 followers in that one day when I committed. They told me about every food place near campus so I got a lot of food places. I got a lot of suggestions on that."
A distraught SMU fan was upset with Woods for flipping his commitment, but Razorbacks fans came to his defense.
"I guess an old SMU fan or somebody tried to come at me and telling me I wasn't going to play and the Arkansas fans just tore him up all day," Woods said. "That was kind of fun. I love it so far. They show a lot of love."
He recorded 51 receptions 1,018 yards and 15 touchdowns this season while having 75 catches for 1,456 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior. Woods has watched YouTube videos while researching the Hogs.
"I looked at the entrances to the stadium, how crazy the fans are and I looked at a couple of the dorms and I also have talked to couple of the players about the dorms," Woods said.
Banks meets coaches
Arkansas Razorback offensive line commitment Noah Banks was uncertain where he stood with the Hogs after the firing of Bret Bielema. The uncertainty is no more after he met with new Coach Chad Morris, Joe Craddock and Dustin Fry on Wednesday.
Craddock and Fry haven't officially been named to Morris' staff, but Craddock has offensive coordinator-quarterbacks coach on his Twitter account while Fry has offensive line coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks on his Twitter account.
Banks, 6-7, 300, of Iowa Western Community College picked the Hogs over scholarship offers from Missouri, Iowa State and Middle Tennessee in November, but has since added offers from Texas, Florida, Louisville and Nebraska.
He spoke to Fry earlier in the week.
"That was the first time we had talked, and they said they still wanted to honor my scholarship and keep me committed, and they were going to do whatever that had to," Banks said.
Morris, Craddock and Fry met with Banks at his school and let him know he's a big part of their plans.
"We sat there for an hour and a half really just talked about where we were from and how we got here. Really enjoyed them and getting to know them in that short period of time."
Banks started an official visit to Texas on Thursday and will visit Florida on Saturday and Sunday. He officially visited the Hogs for the New Mexico State game on Sept. 30 and Florida Atlantic in November. He's made an unofficial visit to Auburn.
He said the visit with Morris, Craddock and Fry helped.
"I told them straight up, I honestly don't know what I want to do," he said. "I meet them seven days before signing day. It's tough, but it definitely helped a lot with them coming to see me and getting to know them."
The Hogs are expecting to host 10 prospects for official visits this weekend with six being from Arkansas.
Five Razorbacks commitments, including athlete Sean Michael Flanagan of Charleston, defensive lineman Isaiah Nichols of Springdale, defensive back Ladarrius Bishop of Ashdown and offensive linemen Noah Gatlin of Jonesboro and Luke Jones of Pulaski Academy will visit.
Fordyce defensive lineman Billy Ferrell, who received an offer from the Hogs on Dec. 7, also will visit.
E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonlinecom
Sports on 12/15/2017
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