The Recruiting Guy:

Mangum's first-visit vibe led to Arkansas commitment

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Justin Stepp, Arkansas wide receivers coach, runs a drill Thursday, March 1, 2018, during Arkansas spring football practice at the Fred W. Smith Football Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Justin Stepp, Arkansas wide receivers coach, runs a drill Thursday, March 1, 2018, during Arkansas spring football practice at the Fred W. Smith Football Center in Fayetteville.

When Mason Mangum visited Arkansas on Feb. 10, that planted a seed in his mind about the Razorbacks toward his commitment after the spring game.

“Last time I came up I left with a great feeling about the school and couldn’t wait to come back up,” said Mangum, who received an offer from receivers coach Justin Stepp on March 28. “It was like everything fell into place and it was clear that this is the place for me.”

Mangum, 5-11, 171, 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash of Austin Westlake, picked the Razorbacks over scholarship offers from Illinois, Boston College, Tulane, Furman, Columbia and Louisiana-Lafayette.

He told an excitable Chad Morris and Stepp of his desire to be a Razorback.

“At first they were kind of surprised and wanted to make sure I was really serious and it wasn’t just like a spur-of-the-moment thing, then coach Stepp was super excited running around yelling,” Mangum said.

He recorded 55 catches for 1,146 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior, and also returned 12 kickoffs for 243 yards and a touchdown and five punts for 89 yards. His parents, Mark and April, were happy with his decision.

“They are super excited,” Mangum said. “They obviously helped me make the decision and they feel the same way I do that it was the right decision for me.”

Mangum has a best of 23 feet, 7 inches in the long jump and 38.13 in the 300 meter hurdles. He was impressed with intense love for football at Arkansas.

“It’s pretty clear that everyone here is extremely passionate about their Arkansas football and I come from Texas, so I think that’s really awesome,” Mangum said. “We take our football seriously in Texas.”

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