The Recruiting Guy:

Californian impressed by UA's reach

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Sunday, January 14, 2018
An Arkansas Razorback helmet at Chad Morris introductory press conference Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.
Photo by Andy Shupe
An Arkansas Razorback helmet at Chad Morris introductory press conference Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.

Junior cornerback Chris Steele is confident that Arkansas Razorbacks Coach Chad Morris and his staff will be successful, and that confidence has him planning a trip to Fayetteville.

"I feel like the staff is doing something really big out there, and I really feel like I could come and have an immediate impact and really get my name out there," Steele said.

Steele, 6-1, 188 pounds, 4.50 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco received a scholarship offer from Morris and the Hogs on Tuesday to go along with more than 30 other offers from schools such as Southern Cal, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Michigan and UCLA.

"The SEC is the best conference in all of college football, so who wouldn't want to play in the SEC, especially a big-time program like Arkansas," Steele said. "I really think they're an up-and-comer, and I think me and a few other players could go down there and make a big difference."

ESPN rates Steele as the No. 2 cornerback and No. 51 overall prospect in the 2019 class. Morris and his staff are aggressively recruiting other top junior prospects across the county.

"Just the fact that they're really putting in the effort to recruit kids from all over," Steele said. "I really haven't heard of any California kids or West Coast kids period getting interest from Arkansas, so that shows the staff is really doing their research and showing interest all over the country to get the top recruits out there."

Steele plans to visit the Hogs in February or the spring.

"I know they mentioned that they want to get me out there on, I want to say, February 24th," Steele said. "If not then, I definitely want to get out there by spring ball."

He said Morris liked what he saw of his highlight video.

"He let me know some of the staff had sat down and watched my film, and they really want to get this whole thing rolling," Steele said.

Steele, who has a 3.5 grade-point average, said academics, his parents and his relationship with a coaching staff will play big roles in his college decision.

He likely will study urban planning or something in a related field that will help him go into city planning one day.

"I have a really good friend whose dad is in city planning, and it seems like a really cool job," Steele said.

Marking territory

The recruiting responsibilities of the new Razorbacks staff will see five coaches assigned to the Dallas-Fort Worth area while two will recruit the Houston area. Two coaches will recruit Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The areas are tentative and will be finalized in the spring.

Defensive coordinator John Chavis will recruit northwest Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana

Secondary coach Mark Smith has east-central Arkansas, Fort Worth, southwest Dallas-Fort Worth and central Texas as his responsibilities.

Defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell will have north-central Arkansas, Missouri and the Kansas junior colleges. Secondary coach Ron Cooper will recruit southeast Arkansas, Louisiana, south Houston and South Florida. Defensive tackles coach John Scott Jr. will recruit northeast Arkansas, south Dallas, north Houston and Georgia.

Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock has been assigned northwest Arkansas, northwest Dallas-Fort Worth, Alabama and central Florida, while offensive line coach Dustin Fry will have Hot Springs, northeast Dallas-Fort Worth, Mississippi junior colleges and South Carolina.

Tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. will recruit the River Valley area, Little Rock, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Receivers coach Justin Stepp has south-central Arkansas, southeast Dallas-Fort Worth, Georgia and South Carolina. Running backs coach Jeff Traylor will recruit east Texas and Texarkana in Arkansas.

Email Richard Davenport at


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