Dudley E. Dawson is a reporter for Hawgs Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a voter for the Heisman Trophy.
'21 Bentonville LB Cole Joyce nearing Arkansas offer
FAYETTEVILLE Bentonville junior linebacker Cole Joyce (6-0, 216) was one of the few players invited to Arkansas’ Fall Kickoff Cookout on Friday that does not have an offer yet from the Razorbacks.
But that may not be the case in the near future for a player viewed as one of the state’s top 2021 prospects.
He has garnered the interest of Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis.
“They (Arkansas coaches) said before in the (June) camp that they wanted to wait until they saw me play a live game,” Joyce said. “(Chavis) said that again today, so that’s kind of where we’re at.”
Joyce enjoyed being able to be around the Arkansas coaches and the 30 or so prospects on hand in the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes.
“It was good,” Joyce said. “I got to spend a lot of time with coach Chavis at the front end and the back end. It was good food. Got to talk to coach Morris also - more than I usually do.”
Joyce recently added an offer from the University of Central Florida to previous ones from Tulsa, UAB, Louisiana-Monroe and Bowling Green. He has interest from Arkansas, Missouri and others.
He admits that an offer would be well-received from Arkansas, which has offered Fort Smith Northside 2021 athlete Dreyden Norwood.
“It would mean a lot just because it’s so close and I’ve been here a whole bunch,” Joyce said. “I’ve watched them growing up and it’d mean a lot.”
Joyce had 80 tackles, four tackles for lost yardage, a sack and a pass breakup as a sophomore.
He was timed at 4.41 in the 40-yard dash by Bentonville coaches and ran a 4.65 laser time at a camp.
Joyce has bests of 10.89 seconds in the 100 meters and 22.66 in the 200 while also running the 4x100 and shot putting for the Tigers' track and field team.
“Mostly I’ve got a lot of speed,” Joyce said. “I’m able to track the ball with my sideline speed.”
Bentonville opens the 2019 season on Saturday, Aug. 31, when it hosts Midwest City, Okla., which downed the visiting Tigers 28-25 in overtime to kick off last season.
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