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.
The Recruiting Guy:
Mother knows best for NC lineman
The University of Arkansas made the cut of ESPN 4-star offensive lineman Jared Wilson on Sunday.
Wilson, 6-4, 335 pounds, of Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth narrowed his list to Arkansas, LSU, North Carolina. Auburn, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia and Florida on his list.
Jared Wilson highlights
His mother, Allie helped him sort through it and cut it to eight.
"She's a mom, so she's going to have her opinion on everything and she's going to have pros and cons about every school, but we both agreed on these eight schools," Wilson said.
Wilson values his mother's input and feels good about his list.
"It's good knowing I'm comfortable with the eight schools and she's also comfortable with the eight schools," Wilson said. "She made a big impact. I'm pretty sure she's talked to all eight schools."
He committed to Georgia on Nov. 7 when Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman was at Athens. His relationship with Pittman and offensive line coach Brad Davis are key for him listing the Hogs as a favorite.
"This past month I've talked to Coach Pittman about three times on the phone," Wilson said. "We've just been chopping it up. We've talked twice on FaceTime for a good 30 minutes. We talk about Arkansas and talk about family. Coach Brad Davis is a doing a great job of recruiting me."
ESPN also rates Wilson the No. 9 offensive guard and the No. 228 overall prospect for the Class of 2021. ESPN national recruiting coordinator Craig Haubert knows West Forsyth Coach Adrian Snow, and they have the same opinion on Wilson.
"I know his coach is really high on him, and I don't disagree with him," Haubert said. "I believe Wilson is a bit underrated in terms of how he's viewed within this offensive line class. He's a big body that displays good knee bend and surprisingly agile for his size. Very good strength. Needs to make some technical improvements as you would expect and doesn't possess a lot of physical upside and may even need to watch weight going forward, but I do think with his size, strength, good feet and tools to be an excellent Power 5 offensive guard."
Wilson has made unofficial visits to North Carolina, Florida and Florida State since January. His relationship with Davis is going well.
"It's going fantastic," Wilson said. "We talk probably text wise everyday, possibly every other day whenever he gets a chance. Every time we text it's always good convos. Always good talking to him."
Pittman's ability to develop NFL-type linemen is attractive to Wilson.
"Honestly what better coach ... Coach Pittman is the man," Wilson said. "At Georgia, he was probably one of the best recruiters they had coaching wise. He developed big boys and put them into the NFL. That's what he does best. I'm pretty sure Coach Davis does as well."
Wilson, who started as a sophomore, graded out at 90% as a junior and had 71 pancake blocks.
The coronavirus epidemic forced the NCAA to announce a dead period on March 13 that originally was until March 30, but has been extended to April 15. Another extension of the dead period is likely.
Wilson canceled visits to Georgia and Ohio State because of the dead period and doesn't know when the NCAA will allow on-campus visits again. The ban is making his recruiting and personal time more challenging.
"I'm a teenage boy, I'm 16, and I don't like to be in the house and I like to be out with my friends," Wilson said. "So it's weird. I get frustrated at times. I know I can't leave. I mean I can but my mom won't let me because it's obviously not safe."
Once visits are allowed, Wilson is looking to make unofficial visits to his final eight schools.
"I'm going to try and get to all eight of those schools as quickly as possible and as soon as possible," Wilson said. "Hopefully this virus wears down quickly because I need it to, because I do want to unofficially visit all eight of those schools. Especially the ones I haven't been to like Auburn, LSU and Arkansas."
The coronavirus and dead period could push back his college decision.
"It's looking like it might go into the season," Wilson said.
E-mail Richard Davenport at [email protected]
Sports on 03/24/2020
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