Dudley E. Dawson is a reporter for Hawgs Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Former NFL OL mentoring Arkansas target Strickland
FAYETTEVILLE One of the nation’s best center prospects has a former NFL offensive lineman guiding him, and the Arkansas football program is in pursuit of his signature.
Sugar Land (Texas) Fort Bend Christian Academy standout Remington Strickland (6-4, 295 pounds), the nation’s ninth-best center, according to 247 Sports, is looking to visit Fayetteville whenever the covid-19 pandemic guidelines allow.
“I haven’t been able to go yet, but I'm definitely planning to go there in the summer, maybe even taking an official visit there during that,” Strickland said. “I would say that my top schools right now are Arkansas, UCF, SMU and Purdue.”
Strickland, whose head coach is former Notre Dame and 10-year NFL offensive lineman Jordan Black, thinks the idea of playing in the SEC is enticing.
“The SEC is the best conference, obviously, in America,” Strickland said. “You compete against big dogs like LSU and Alabama each year. If you play in the SEC, you play the best, you compete against the best and you try to be the best. That really appeals to me.”
Strickland, a 3-star prospect who sports a 4.56 grade point average on a 5.0 scale, also has offers to play at Boise State, Houston, Princeton, Yale, Tulsa, Colorado State, Air Force and other programs.
“I am hoping to do all my visits in the summer and make my decision right before my senior year starts,” Strickland said.
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman has made Strickland feel like he is a priority for the Razorbacks.
“I talk to him a lot and we basically stay in contact each week,” Strickland said.
He is impressed with the track record of both Pittman and Arkansas offensive line coach Brad Davis.
“I was definitely excited to see Coach Pittman come in and think he has a great plan to turn the program around,” Strickland said. “There are definitely two great O-line coaches at Arkansas now and that is a great thing to see.”
Strickland, who did not allow a sack last season, believes he is a solid blocker.
“I think my strength would be my blocking, especially my run blocking, for sure,” Strickland said. “I think my pass blocking is pretty good as well. I didn’t allow any sacks this year.
“I think something I need to work on is probably on screens, getting out and being better in space."
Strickland’s Fort Bend Christian Academy team began a turnaround of its program last season under Black, who played professionally for the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins.
The Chiefs took Black with their fifth-round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.
“We finished with a 6-5 record and made it to the first round of the state playoffs,” Strickland said. “That was a big turnaround for us. We went 1-9 the year before, but we got a new coach and he really turned it around.
“He came in with a consistent message and now we are hoping to turn things around fully this season.”
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