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:
Orlando receiver excited about recruiting process
University of Arkansas special teams coordinator Scott Fountain and receivers coach Kenny Guiton have been double-teaming speedy junior receiver CJ Smith.
“I’ve been mainly keeping in touch with Coach Fountain and the new wide receivers Coach Guiton,” Smith said. “They’ve been keeping in touch with me around two to three times a week, so communication has been really good between us.”
Smith, 6-3, 180 pounds, of Orlando (Fla.) Bishop Moore Catholic has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Penn State, South Carolina, West Virginia and Louisville among the 14.
Fountain has been talking to Smith for about two months.
“I like his personality and the way he really explains things to me about how Arkansas would really benefit me in the future and how I would benefit them in the future,” Smith said.
Smith, who recorded 23 receptions for 361 yards and 4 touchdowns as a junior, didn’t receive his first offer (from Central Florida) until last May and soon numerous others followed.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s been really exciting,” Smith said. “Last year around this time I would’ve never thought it would’ve been this exciting. I’ve learned it can be stressful at sometimes, but as long as I have the right mental state I’ll be able to get through it.
“This is really exciting to me and my family that I have the opportunities to have a free education.”
His play-making ability is enhanced by his outstanding speed. He reports running 20.8 seconds in the 200 meters and also ran 10.6 seconds in the 100 meters in December.
“My goal is to get to low 20s,” Smith said of the 200 meters.
The NCAA dead period has been extended to April 15, but once it’s lifted, Smith hopes to visit schools.
“As of right now definitely Arkansas, I’m still trying to talk over with my parents to see logistic wise what would be best,” he said.
Smith desire to visit Fayetteville is because of the Hogs’ communication.
“It’s one of the main schools that’s really been keeping in touch with me,” Smith said.
Virtual visit goes well
The Razorback football staff hosted most of the in-state junior prospects with Arkansas scholarship offers for visual visits on Saturday.
Highly recruited Maumelle offensive tackle Andrew Chamblee’s parents Jonathan and Sheri thought the two-hour visit was well done and informative.
Jonathan Chamblee enjoyed seeing the training facilities the Hogs utilize for treating the Razorbacks.
“They did a lot of reps demonstrating and they actually went into the treatment facility and showed us the options they have there,” he said. “The hot water tub and the cold water tub.”
Chamblee, 6-5, 290 pounds, has 15 offers from schools, including Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee, TCU, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech and Michigan State.
ESPN rates Chamblee a 4-star recruit, the No. 30 offensive tackle and the No. 220 overall prospect in the nation.
Chamblee’s father likes how all of the facilities are close together.
“The football players don’t have to wander very far to get their meals, get their studying in or whatever else they need,” Jonathan Chamblee said. “Getting an x-ray or whatever. It’s all right there within close proximity to the indoor field and outdoor training field and the locker rooms.
Arkansas’ academic support for the student-athletes stood out to Sheri Chamblee.
“I really appreciate they put forth in helping the athletes,” she said. “Telling us if there was a subject they didn’t have a tutor, they would hire one to come in for that subject. That really made me feel good about him getting a degree if he decided to go the University of Arkansas.”
The Chamblees said offensive line coach Brad Davis was their host for the visit and Coach Sam Pittman was also actively involved.
“I thought for a virtual junior day they did a pretty good job with it,” Sherri Chamblee said. “Brad Davis was very entertaining. He’s funny.”
Jonathan Chamblee agreed about Davis.
“He’s genuine,” he said. “His personality shines through.”
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