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:
Arkansas target cooking up something big
When Tre Emory hangs up his football cleats for the final time, there’s a good chance eventually he’ll be cooking up some fine Southern cuisine at his own restaurant.
The University of Arkansas defensive tackle target grew up watching his grandmother cook and started cooking himself at 11 years old.
Emory, 6-3, 295 pounds, of Mount Pleasant, Texas, narrowed his list of scholarship offers to Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, SMU, Arizona and TCU on April 6.
He credits his grandmother, Shirley Brown, and chef Kathleen Anker, the culinary arts teacher at his high school, for his love of cooking.
“My teacher, she’s like one of the best,” Emory said. “I say my grandma and my teacher are really the reasons why for my love of cooking.”
Emory’s fondness for cooking went to another level after taking Anker’s class as a sophomore.
“It was really a class to get a credit for, but I ended up falling in love with the class,” he said. “That elevated my cooking skills to another level, and I see I have potential.”
Emory and his classmates were assigned to prepare grilled chicken and his was deemed the best of the 15 grilled chicken dishes by Anker.
“It was like a two-people group project,” he said. “I ended up cooking and got done with it and checked the temperature and then she tasted and she said she loved it. Since she loved my cooking. It motivated me towards cooking more.”
Emory’s use of honey, garlic powder and salt and pepper were some of the ingredients that made his the best.
“I let them have the choice on how they wanted to season it,” Anker said. “That was another thing, everybody loved how his tasted.
“The reason his was so good was because most of them are so afraid to get the temperature wrong and they don’t always listen to instructions on how the chicken will keep cooking. He got his to the perfect temperature, so it wasn’t dried out. It was juicy.”
Emory plans to study culinary arts in college.
“I want to be a head chef at a restaurant and have my own business,” he said. “That’s the plan.”
He learned to make meatloaf from his grandmother.
“I’m trying to tell you, if you let me cook you some meatloaf, you won’t regret it,” Emory said.
The ESPN 3-star prospect was named the District 9-5A-II Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. He will be able to sample some of the best food in several college towns when he starts taking visits.
Emory plans to officially visit Arizona on June 4-6, Oklahoma State on June 9-11, Baylor on June 18-20 and Arkansas on June 25-27.
His relationship with Coach Sam Pittman, offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and defensive line coach Jermial Ashley has been strong since the Hogs offered him in November.
“They were the second Power 5 school to offer me,” said Emory, who reports a 375-pound bench press and 620 squat. “Ever since they offered me it’s been nothing but love. Those three are the three main people I talk to on the staff They consistently show love to me. They’re who I’m really looking forward to meeting in June.”
Anker said Emory’s combination of personality and cooking skills sets him up for success.
“Everybody knows who is and he’s just the sweetest thing ever,” Anker said. “He’s just like a giant teddy bear. He just exudes this smiling happiness that kind of makes your day. I really think he’s going to do something great. I know if he does get into the culinary industry there’s so many things he can do with that.”
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