The Recruiting Guy:

Talent abounds at The Opening

By: Richard Davenport Richard Davenport's Twitter account
Published: Sunday, July 2, 2017
Arkansas Offensive line coach Kurt Anderson
( Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gaze / Jason Ivester)
Arkansas Offensive line coach Kurt Anderson

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The Opening, a three-day event showcasing the nation's top high school football talent, kicked off Saturday morning with several Arkansas Razorbacks prospects taking part.

The Hogs are one of the top five schools in pursuit of offensive lineman Curtis Dunlap. Offensive lineman Penei Sewell is another prospect the Hogs are pursuing.

Dunlap, 6-5, 363 pounds of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., has more than 40 scholarship offers, with Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia and Michigan listed as his top five on March 26.

He's being recruited by offensive line coach Kurt Anderson.

"Arkansas is a great program for offensive linemen," Dunlap said. "I've had a great time being recruited by coach Anderson and picking his brain. We talk about other things, not just football, and he's a cool guy. I just like the history of Arkansas, the coaching staff and everything seems like a good fit for me."

ESPN rates Dunlap as the nation's No. 2 center and the No. 121 prospect overall. He said he plans to make an official visit to Fayetteville.

"I don't know exactly when because I'm trying to figure out everything with my school's schedule and games," Dunlap said, "but I'm definitely going to make it out to Arkansas."

Bielema has coached three of the NFL's highest-paid offensive linemen -- Kevin Zeitler of the Cleveland Browns (guard) and Rick Wagner of Detroit Lions (right tackle), while the Dallas Cowboys' Travis Frederick is the highest paid center.

"They have a great history of putting linemen in the league, not just putting them but having them play consistently and getting good pay," Dunlap said.

Hogs offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt attended IMG Academy as a senior, and the Razorbacks are hoping Dunlap becomes the second lineman from the school to join the program.

Sewell, 6-4, 320, of St. George (Utah) Desert Hills, visited Fayetteville with his brother, Noah, a sophomore linebacker, and his father, Gabriel, in May.

Sewell, who is being recruited by Anderson, said he was impressed with the family atmosphere at Arkansas.

Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Southern Cal, UCLA, Utah, Michigan, Oklahoma and Nebraska are among the schools who have offered scholarships to Sewell.

ESPN rates Sewell as the nation's No. 7 offensive guard and No. 150 overall prospect. Sewell's father has indicated the Hogs could get an official visit during the season.

Two Louisiana prospects who have committed to LSU, linebacker Micah Baskerville, 6-2, 216, and cornerback Ar'Darius Washington, have expressed interest in making return trips to Fayetteville.

Baskerville and Washington are both from Shreveport Evangel.

Baskerville is participating in The Opening.

Washington, 5-9, 168, 4.57 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has more than 10 scholarship offers, with Arkansas, LSU and TCU among the suitors.

Arkansas currently has two Shreveport Evangel products on the roster in junior safety Santos Ramirez and senior receiver Jared Cornelius. ESPN rates Baskerville a three-star prospect.

Michigan offensive tackle Devontae Dobbs, one of the nation's top 2019 prospects, has offers from many of the nation's top programs, including Arkansas.

Dobbs, 6-5, 286, 5.20 seconds in the 40, of Belleville, Mich., is one of only six juniors and the only 2019 offensive lineman invited to The Opening.

The Hogs were the third school to extend an offer to junior running back John Emery Jr., 5-11, 202, of Destrehan, La. Georgia and North Carolina were the first two schools to offer while LSU was the fourth to do so. Michigan, Tennessee and Ole Miss, among others, have offered Emery since his first four.

Emery, who has stated a desire to visit Fayetteville, is the lone junior running back at The Opening.

Arkansas’ 2018 football commit list

• Nine high school and junior-college players have orally committed to play football for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in 2018


Ath. Sean Michel Flanigan;6-1;191;4.47;Charleston

OL Noah Gatlin;6-7;300;Jonesboro

RB Jeremy Gibson;5-11;200;Reserve (La.) Riverside Academy

DT Emmit Gooden;6-4;320;Independence (Kan.) CC

CB Byron Hanspard;6-1;188;4.44;Desoto, Texas

DB Tanner McCalister;6-0;185;4.45;Rockwall (Texas) Rockwall-Heath

DL Isaiah Nichols;6-3;265;Springdale

QB Connor Noland;6-2;190;Greenwood

LB Bumper Pool;6-2;216;4.79;Lucas, (Texas) Lovejoy

NOTE Oral commitments are nonbinding.

Sports on 07/02/2017


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