Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Athleticism stands out for UA O-line target
Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth Coach Adrian Snow, who has been coaching since 1992, calls ESPN four-star junior offensive lineman Jared Wilson a once-in-a-lifetime prospect.
"He's a dude. I don't know if I've ever been around one as athletic as he is to be as big as he is," Snow said. "He runs unbelievably well. Like crazy, like freakish. He's a 4.9 kid. He's ultra explosive."
Wilson, 6-4, 335 pounds, led the Titans to a 11-2 record and the Class 4AA quarterfinals this season, his third year to play football.
"I've never coached an NFL offensive lineman," Snow said. "I've coached some kids that played in the NFL. When he was a freshman, I said this kid has a chance, and he's never played a down of football. His athletic ability is amazing."
Wilson, who started as a sophomore, graded out at 90% as a junior and had 71 pancake blocks while not allowing a sack during a season that saw West Forsyth rush for more than 3,000 yards.
ESPN rates Wilson the No. 9 offensive guard and the No. 219 overall prospect for the Class of 2021. He committed to Georgia on Nov. 7 in large part because of University of Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman, who previously was the Bulldogs' offensive line coach.
"In my opinion, he's been the best offensive line coach in college football with the recruiting he does," Wilson said. "He puts guys into the NFL."
Wilson, who has scholarship offers from Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and others, received one from the Razorbacks on Sunday after he called Pittman.
"We were talking for a while about the University of Arkansas and how he loved it, and after a while he offered me," Wilson said. "He loves the state of Arkansas, and he was talking about the facilities and the university. He just said he loved it."
At Georgia, Pittman won Wilson over at by including his mother, Allie; his three brothers, Marcus, P.J. and Jeremiah; and grandfather, Heyward, in their conversations.
"He's a family guy. I love that," Wilson said. "Every chance he got, he talked with my mom. He would always ask about my brothers and my granddad."
His relationship with Pittman likely will lead to a Fayetteville visit.
"I haven't talked with my mother about visiting yet, but we will definitely be at Arkansas soon in the spring," Wilson said.
Before playing on the gridiron, Wilson played soccer from the fourth through seventh grades, and basketball in the seventh and eighth grades. He quit soccer for obvious reasons.
"I literally grew out of the sport. I got too big," he said.
His mother urged him to try football as a freshman.
"My mother really wanted me to do it, I'm not going to lie," Wilson said. "She kind of made me do it. I gave it a shot, and I'm here now."
Wilson credits his mother for helping him become the person he is today.
"With her being there all my life, she's been the mother and father, so she's taught me how to be a young man and I love her for that and thank her for that," Wilson said.
His grandfather also has played a big role in his life while hoping his grandson eventually plays for his beloved Dallas Cowboys.
"He's very quiet and low key with it, but he always calls me and pulls me to the side every chance he gets and just talks about life and how he wants me to play for the Cowboys one day," Wilson said. "He loves them."
Wilson's love for sports has him planning to major in communications, with hopes of going into TV broadcasting.
"I just want to stay around sports," said Wilson, who has a 3.0 grade-point average. "I don't see myself doing anything that doesn't involve sports. Sports is me. I don't care what sport as along as it's sports."
Snow said Wilson's mother and grandfather have raised him right.
"He's an unbelievable kid and an unbelievable player," Snow said. "He's well liked by all. People enjoy being around him."
Email Richard Davenportat firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports on 01/03/2020
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