Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
Razorbacks' Odom plays key role recruiting LB
Barry Odom, an assistant coach with the University of Arkansas football team, speaks with members of the media Thursday, February 6, 2020, inside the Fred W. Smith Football Center on the campus in Fayetteville.
University of Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom's prior relationship with linebacker Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan is helping the Hogs get an upcoming visit.
Hamilton-Jordan, 6-0, 203 pounds, of Kansas City Lincoln College Prep was being evaluated by Odom while at Missouri, and that led to the Razorbacks extending a scholarship offer to him on Jan. 21.
Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan highlights
He plans to make an unofficial visit to Fayetteville on March 7.
"He's excited to get me down," Hamilton-Jordan said. "Now that he's at Arkansas, he's really excited about me. We even talked about a potential official visit coming up soon. I may just take my first one there, but I'm still thinking about it. He wants to get me down there so I can talk to all of the staff and just have a good time down there."
Hamilton-Jordan also has scholarship offers from Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State and Tulsa while drawing strong interest from Arizona State and Missouri. He's confident Odom will be in Fayetteville over the next few years.
"I believe he'll be there for the next four years while I'm playing so that would be a big push in the relationship with him," said Hamilton-Jordan, who has a 35-inch vertical leap.
He has a good vibe about the Razorbacks.
"There's just something about Arkansas. I think I could play there," he said.
He recorded 150 tackles, 18 for loss, 5 sacks, forced a fumble and had an interception to help the Blue Tigers to a 11-1 record while making second-team Class 4 all-state as a junior.
He had 26 tackles, a forced fumble and a blocked punt in a victory over Excelsior Springs this past season.
Hamilton-Jordan, who's planning to major in criminal justice, was inspired to study in the field because of a television show.
"I grew up watching Criminal Minds," he said. "That was my favorite show."
He plans to minor in Spanish.
"I've been speaking Spanish my whole life since pre-K," Hamilton-Jordan said. "I already have college credits."
The trip to Fayetteville won't be his first. He visited the Hogs for a spring practice last year with good friend and Arkansas defensive end target Travion Ford. Arkansas' academic support along with the Jerry & Gene Jones family student-athlete success center stood out during his last trip.
"They have so many resources," Hamilton-Jordan said. "They showed me where all the players come in for tutoring. You can get tutoring whenever."
Leadership comes naturally for Hamilton-Jordan, who said he's been defensive captain since his freshman year.
"I'll be a four-year starter this coming year," Hamilton-Jordan said.
Hamilton-Jordan is like having another coach on the field and the thought of coaching has entered his mind.
"Even the freshmen coming in, I tutored them," he said. "I helped them get better on the field even when the coaches [weren't] around. I just want to help people. That's what I really want to do in life after football."
Email Richard Davenport at
Sports on 02/28/2020
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.