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:
Morrilton sophomore QB a name to remember
Morrilton sophomore quarterback Jacolby Criswell.
A quick look at Morrilton sophomore quarterback Jacolby Criswell's highlight video indicates he has the potential to become a sought-after signal caller.
Criswell, 6-1, 205 pounds, has connected on 75 of 117 passes, 1,167 yards and 15 touchdowns while throwing only 2 interceptions in 8 games this season. He's rushed for 565 yards and 8 touchdowns on 96 carries.
"The ball just explodes out of that kid's hands," Morrilton Coach Cody McNabb said. "His arm talent is incredible, and of course he has the athleticism to be a dual threat, and he just gets better every week. He's getting more experience. He's really playing really well right now."
While only a sophomore, Criswell has the maturity and mental outlook of an upperclassman.
"He's got what you want in a quarterback," McNabb said. "He's not up and down. He's pretty level-headed. He's not that emotional or excitable in good and bad. He's done some sophomore stuff, too, where he hasn't protected the football, and when that happens he comes right back and throws a touchdown pass."
Criswell is drawing interest from the in-state schools, including the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The only summer college camp he attended was the Hogs' prospect camp in June.
Former Razorback and NFL quarterback Clint Stoerner worked with Criswell a few times in the spring and during his Elite Quarterback Camp in Little Rock in June.
"The arm action is elite," Stoerner said. "Like big-time, next level. Some of the best I've ever seen type stuff. When you see his arm action, you just go ... that's special."
Also attending Stoerner's camp in June were Hog commitment Connor Noland of Greenwood, and prospects Gerry Bohanon of Earle and Layne Hatcher of Pulaski Academy
"His ceiling is higher than those guys," Stoerner said of Criswell. "He has a chance to be really special."
McNabb isn't too concerned about Criswell's handling of the expected increase of attention from the media.
"I think he'll be pretty level with that, too," McNabb said. "The thing I like about Jacolby is we talked the other day and I said people are going to start to notice now you're doing some good things, and he told me, 'Yeah, I just want to get another win coach.' As long as he keeps that kind of an attitude, I'm excited about what he can become."
Jacolby, who attended the Razorbacks' game against Auburn on Saturday, is the latest in a long line of Criswells who have excelled for the Devil Dogs. His cousins, Justin and Jamar, signed with Louisiana-Monroe and Missouri Western State, respectively. McNabb loves seeing the Criswells on the roster.
"I have four on the team right now," McNabb said. "It's job security, too, because they can all run. I go through class rosters and count the Criswells. If I count several of them, we're going to be pretty good."
Stoerner has been impressed with Criswell's attitude, but he still marvels at his ability.
"He's very, very, very coachable, humble," Stoerner said. "As a sophomore in high school, he can make every pro-style throw you want with ease. The comeback, the seam, the cover-two corner, the dig, all that stuff. Absolute effortless."
Email Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports on 10/24/2017
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