Dudley E. Dawson is a reporter for Hawgs Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Mangum's official visit to Arkansas solidifies pledge
FAYETTEVILLE Austin (Texas) Westlake wide receiver Mason Mangum (5-11, 175, 4.45) was already committed to Arkansas before his official visit this week, but it furthered his bond with the Razorbacks.
“It was great,” Mangum said. “Great to see everybody and be with the other guys. They did a great job hosting us, very hospitable. It's awesome being here.”
Mangum, one of eight Razorbacks pledges in the 2020 class, committed to Arkansas on April 6 and is one of two wide receivers in the class along with Marshall, Texas, standout Savion Williams (6-4, 200).
“Obviously they've got some great receivers and I'm excited to watch them this fall,” Mangum said. “Coming in I'm excited, too. Savion is obviously a stud. Hopefully we have someone else coming in, too.”
Those guys will play for Arkansas wide receivers coach Justin Stepp.
“I love Coach Stepp,” Mangum said. “That's my guy. I just can't wait for him to coach me.”
Mangum, who had 55 catches for 1,146 yard and 18 touchdowns last season was hosted by Arkansas quarterback Jack Lindsey and wide receiver Peyton Ausley of Austin Vandergriff.
“I learned a lot about the academics,” Mangum said. The business school, which I want to do. I just go to see everybody. I got to see the football players and everybody, so that was cool.
Mangum and Houston (Texas) North Shore tailback John Gentry, who committed to Arkansas on Friday morning, joined Hazen defensive end Blayne Toll (6-6, 242) as official visitors this week.
Mangum, who chose Arkansas over Colorado, Boston College and others, did what he could to sway Toll.
“A little bit,” Mangum said. “He would be awesome to have with us. We would love to have him. We were trying to help him a little bit make the right decision.”
Mangum’s top attribute is his speed.
“My speed is one of my strengths, absolutely.” Mangum said. “Another one of my strengths is my route running, but that's one of the things you can always improve on. You can never be a perfect route runner. Working on getting bigger, stronger and faster.”
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