Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Razorbacks give sophomore first offer
The University of Arkansas will forever be the first school to offer a scholarship to sophomore defensive end Xadavien Sims.
Razorbacks defensive line coach Jermial Ashley extended an offer to Sims during the second semester of his freshman year on April 20.
“I’m very thankful Coach Ashley saw potential in me,” Sims said. “It’s just boosted my confidence and helped me see I needed to step it up and continue to dominate and work hard.
“For me to get a offer so early, it really helped me to continue pushing myself to be the best I can be. I really like Coach Ash and the staff at Arkansas. It makes me want to work harder knowing they saw potential in me to offer me at 14.”
Sims, 6-4, 245 pounds, of Denison, Texas, is also drawing interest from Texas, Texas A&M and Clemson. He participated in Arkansas camp June 25 and was able to take a tour afterward.
“I loved the campus and I loved the facilities,” Sims said.
He also visited the Longhorns and Aggies in June.
“To me, they had better training rooms,” Sims said of Arkansas. “Their weight room was better. I was really impressed. I loved their indoor, too.”
Sims, who moved up to varsity for the last three district games and a playoff game last season, recorded 3 tackles and a tackle for loss. He enjoyed being pushed by Ashley during the Razorback camp.
“He’s very easy to learn from,” he said. “Arkansas gave me a good workout. It was a little hard, but overall it was great.”
He hopes the June trip to Fayetteville isn’t his last.
“I hope to go to watch a game during the season,” Sims said. “I’m going to call him [Ashley] and try and arrange it.”
Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman made Sims feel at ease during their conversion in his office.
“It was my first time meeting him,” Sims said. “I really didn’t feel nervous. I didn’t feel nervous or felt pressure as I would with other coaches. He’s a little laid back from what I saw.”
With athletes able to earn money off their name, image and likeness, colleges are promoting their schools as a good place to do business. For now, Sims doesn’t appear to be concerned about the new opportunities for student-athletes.
“I want to go somewhere I fit into the program,” he said. “It would be great to make money while in college, but it wouldn’t change a whole lot of why I would like a college.”
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