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:
Hogs coaches double team 4-star D-lineman
Arkansas defensive line coach Jermial Ashley is shown during practice Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Fayetteville.
University of Arkansas special teams coordinator Scott Fountain and defensive line coach Jermial Ashley have the attention and interest of a highly recruited 4-star defensive lineman.
Jamari Lyons, 6-4, 285 pounds, of Melborne (Fla.) Viera, is talking to Fountain and Ashley and enjoying every minute of their conversations.
“They’re pretty fun people to talk to,” Lyons said. “We have great conversations with each other. After talking to them, I feel like if we build a better relationship they do have a chance of me committing there, but overall I love the atmosphere and I love the coaches there.”
Lyons has offers from Arkansas, Florida, Ohio State, Georgia, Miami, Nebraska, Florida State, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Virginia, Arizona State, Auburn, Indiana and others. The Hogs offered him in August.
Fountain and Ashley double-team recruit Lyons while talking up Arkansas.
“Coach Fountain will pass the phone to Coach Ashley, we just all talk,” Lyons said. “They say there’s nothing like Arkansas. They tell me the normal stuff like everybody else like how they want me. They talk about what they’re doing at Arkansas. They’re not just building. They’re trying to win games but trying to do things for the long run as well.”
Lyons terrorized offensive backfields as a junior by recording 79 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles and an interception.
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network rates Lyons a 4-star prospect.
“I spent a couple hours with him and his coach back in January,” Lemming said. “Hard working with good size and a great first step. He’s aggressive and has violent hands. He can play end or tackle.”
Lyons, who has a 325-pound bench press and 500 squat, has enjoyed a virtual visit with the Razorbacks staff.
“They asked questions about me and about my family,” Lyons said. “How we’re doing since covid hit. They were making sure I was good and my family was straight.”
The coaches showed off Arkansas’ campus and facilities, including the Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center.
“They showed us the nutrition area, the study hall,” Lyons said. “They showed us how they practice. The indoor facility is near the weight room. There’s big windows that shows the practice facility. I got to talk to the head coach a little bit.”
The tour of the facilities was something unique to Lyons.
“I was like, ‘Wow,’ like, I was amazed,” he said. “I had never seen anything like that. I see all these other schools, but that was really different. I’ve never seen a weight room connected to a facility. That was brand new to me. They have two different locker rooms.”
Lyons, who has a 3.0 grade-point average, is interested in forensic science because of television crime shows and a class at school.
“I took a class last semester,” he said. “It was a forensic science class, and it was like who committed the murder? How do you solve the crime?”
He’s looking to narrow his list of schools to 5-7 some time in April. Lyons said the Razorback are in the mix for him.
“Oh, they’re up there,” he said.
If he visits Fayetteville, it likely won’t happen in June.
“I’m kind of booked and I have a team camp,” Lyons said. “I have Florida the first week of June, the second week I’m going to Indiana and then I’m taking an unofficial visit to South Carolina.”
Florida might be tough to beat for his signature.
“Grew up watching Florida,” Lyons said. “Always loved Florida, so they always have a place in my heart, but people have to make their own decision. We’ll see how it plays out.”
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