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 :
Juco O-lineman likes shot at UA playing time
Arkansas offensive line coach Dustin Fry talks to players during practice Thursday, March 1, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Arkansas is expected to get an official visit from one of the top junior-college offensive linemen in the nation.
Offensive tackle Anthony Whigan, 6-5, 300 pounds, of Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna Community College has been communicating with offensive line coach Dustin Fry and recruiting assistant Mark Modleski.
"I really like Arkansas," Whigan said. "I have three official visits left, and I plan on taking one to Arkansas during the fall. I have a great relationship with Coach Mods and Coach Fry."
Fry and Modleski have emphasized the Hogs will lose seniors Brian Wallace, Johnny Gibson and Hjalte Froholdt on the line after the 2018 season, and the opportunity for immediate playing time is there.
"They're telling me they have a plan for me," said Whigan, who expects his parents to accompany him on a trip to Fayetteville. "They have guys that are leaving. They're telling me the opportunity that Arkansas will bring to me. You can't turn down one of the best conferences in football."
Whigan graduated from Great Mills High School in Lexington Park, Md., in 2016 and was set to attend Towson in 2016, but the NCAA Clearinghouse did not clear him. He sat out a year before enrolling at Lackawanna. He now has 16 scholarship offers from schools such as the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Penn State, South Carolina, Maryland, Louisville, Oklahoma and Nebraska.
He's humbled by the offers and credits Lackawanna head Coach Mark Duda, and offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Josh Pardini.
"They helped develop my game to heights I never thought I could reach before," Whigan said. "There was a lot of hard work. A lot of work outside of football like in the classroom."
Whigan is expected to graduate in December and enroll at his new school in January. He will have three years to play two.
"Just somewhere I feel real comfortable," Whigan said. "Somewhere I can ... compete for a starting spot. Somewhere I can get a great education. Just somewhere that I feel real comfortable."
He made two of his allotted five official visits to Louisville and South Carolina in June. He's also looking to make official visits to Penn State and Oklahoma in the fall.
Some have speculated Whigan is headed to Penn State.
"They're definitely a top school on my list," he said. "I like Penn State a lot."
Whigan plans to major in sports management. Fry and Modleski have educated him about Arkansas' sports management program.
"They said it's a great program," Whigan said. "They said they have a few guys that are also majoring in sports management."
He has a good connection with Fry.
"He's a real good dude," Whigan said. "Really down-to-earth. He knows what he's talking about. He really does. He and I like the same things. He likes to fish and I like to fish. He hunts and I hunt. He's a cool dude."
Whigan's athleticism and ability to move his feet stand out on his highlight video. He credits martial arts and playing multiple sports for his athletic ability.
"I think a lot of that has to do with me playing so many different sports," he said. "Things like ... I did a lot of karate and that helped with my flexibility. I played basketball and soccer. All that stuff translated to me being so athletic."
His parents also were athletic.
"My mom was track and field, volleyball and softball and basketball, and dad was basketball," Whigan said.
Under Coach Chad Morris, the Hogs have incorporated yoga in the strength-and-conditioning program to help with flexibility. Whigan said the Razorbacks were the first to mention yoga as a way to get better.
"That's real good," Whigan said. "People sleep on the part of having a lot of flexibility and being able to move your body in certain ways. They're always trying to get ahead of the game. I like that."
Email Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports on 07/24/2018
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