Dudley E. Dawson is a reporter for Hawgs Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Texas prep tailback Gentry commits to Arkansas
John Gentry, Jeff Traylor
FAYETTEVILLE After an official visit to Arkansas left him amazed, Houston (Texas) North Shore three-star tailback John Gentry felt no reason to wait on making a decision.
Gentry (5-10, 190, 4.56), who had taken an unofficial visit Fayetteville for the Red-White game, committed to coach Chad Morris on Friday to become the eighth pledge in the Razorbacks’ 2020 recruiting class.
”It was a visit to remember,” Gentry said. “All the food was a highlight, and then the time at Coach Morris' house really sealed the deal for me. I sat down one-on-one with all the coaches and they were telling me how I'm needed and I could be a big part of the turnaround.”
Gentry, whose team went 16-0 and won a state championship last season, is excited about playing in the SEC.
"I love Arkansas,” Gentry said. “SEC is the best level of football there is. If I come in here and do my thing, I have the possibility to go to the league and I think they can put me in a position to do that.”
Gentry splits time in the North Shore backfield with 5-star prospect Zachary Evans (6-0, 195), a top 10 player nationally and Texas’ top 2020 prospect who has offers from Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Texas, Arizona, Florida, LSU and many more.
He chose Arkansas over Houston, UNLV, Utah State, Wyoming, Hawaii, Colorado State, Tulsa and others.
Gentry, who had 900 all-purpose yards last season, also credited Arkansas junior tailback Rakeem Boyd, his host for the visit, for his commitment.
"Rakeem was an amazing host,” Gentry said. “He showed me a lot, we talked about a lot. He sealed the deal for me, too.”
Gentry expects to be pushed by Arkansas running backs coach Jeff Traylor.
"Coach Traylor is going to be a hard coach, but I think he's going to be understanding,” he said. "I think we're going to have a good 3-4 years when I come.”
Gentry believes the Razorbacks program is on the verge of a turnaround after going 2-10 in Morris’ first season and has talked to incoming Arkansas defensive end Collin Clay about that.
"I know last year Coach Morris was new, so that was a rebuilding stage, but they're more stable now. I think they'll have more wins this season,” Gentry said. “I talked to Collin and he told me it's a great atmosphere. He said that everyone is really here and in it and they're going to turn this thing around."
Gentry joined Austin Westlake wide receiver and Razorbacks commit Mason Mangrum (5-11, 171) and Hazen defensive end Blayne Toll (6-6, 242) on the visit.
”Mason (Mangum) and I were working on Blayne. We'll see what happens," Gentry said.
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