Analysis: Gregory's flip to Arkansas a huge addition

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Monday, July 23, 2018
Eric Gregory
Eric Gregory

— The importance of the addition of four-star Memphis native and Bradenton, Fla., IMG Academy defensive end Eric Gregory (6-3, 240, 4.7) to Arkansas’ commitment list on Monday can not be understated.

It adds a fourth quality defensive linemen to the 2019 class – now numbering 10 total pledges – while also being a second former Memphis and current IMG Academy standout, and someone who has offers from seven SEC programs.

Gregory, ranked as a four-star prospect and the nation’s 49th-best defensive end per ESPN, flipped his commitment from Memphis, where he had been the fifth-highest ranked player to ever pledge to the hometown Tigers.

"I committed to Memphis because it was in my comfort zone, but now I realize the opportunity to get outside of Memphis and play in the SEC will continue my growth as a person and a player," Gregory said via Twitter while announcing his flip.

As for what he will add to Arkansas’ defense, Gregory shows great speed off the edge and a nose for the football. He arrives at the point of impact in a violent manner and is a very sure tackler.

He’ll get the opportunity to play great competition at IMG Academy, which plays a national schedule that features Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei, Washington, D.C., St. John’s, Henderson, NV, Liberty and Hoover, Ala.

The addition of Gregory moves Arkansas up to 46th in the 24/7 team rankings while ESPN has not yet added Gregory to the Razorbacks’ list and remains outside of its Top 40.

Gregory joins Pulaski Robinson defensive end Zach Williams (6-4, 225) and quarterback KJ Jefferson (6-3, 210) as the Razorbacks’ three four-star prospects among the 10 current pledges – 5 on offense, 5 on defense.

The other two defensive line pledges are Mataio Soli (6-4, 225) of Douglasville, Ga., Douglas County and Lufkin, Texas, defensive lineman Carl Williams (6-4, 310).

Gregory, friends and IMG teammates with Arkansas wide receiver commit Shamar Nash (6-1, 180), also has a host of offers.

Those include SEC schools such as Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and South Carolina.

Gregory, who had 56 tackles, 16 tackles for lost yardage and 12 sacks last season for Memphis Central, and Nash plan to take their official visits to Arkansas on the weekend of Oct. 6.

Arkansas remains in the hunt for several other top Tennessee prospects, including Murfreesboro wide receiver Trey Knox (6-4, 205).

Knox plans to announce his decision on Oct. 1 between Arkansas, Tennessee and Ohio State – thought to be among his favorites.


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