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:
Illinois lineman enjoys game atmosphere
One of the nation’s top offensive linemen for 2023 and his mother visited the University of Arkansas for the Hogs’ 34-17 victory over Missouri and a return trip looks likely.
Charles Jagusah, 6-6, 297 pounds, of Rock Island (Ill.) Alleman, received a scholarship offer from Arkansas on Oct. 24 to go along with others from Notre Dame, Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and other programs.
He said the trip helped the Razorbacks.
“I liked it because I kind of got to go around and see the town a little bit and get on campus and look around,” Jagusah said. “Definitely want to come back in the future just because I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time doing stuff outside of being at the game. I definitely want to get back down and see what’s up and kind of figure out things a little more.”
Jagusah and his mother left Fayetteville after the game to travel to Baton Rouge for LSU’s game against Texas A&M on Saturday night. He spent time with Coach Sam Pittman and offensive line coach Cody Kennedy prior to the game.
“We talked a little bit about what their plans are and what they’re trying to build,” Jagusah said of Pittman. “Just that they’re a good team now, but they’re 1-2 guys away being a top-tier team and they think they can get there pretty quick.”
He enjoyed his one-on-one time with Pittman.
“I really liked him just because he’s a pretty personable guy,” Jagusah said. “Seems like a pretty honest guy. Obviously has a pretty good track record with O-linemen.”
Jagusah’s mother, Sheila Doak, noticed how Pittman was focused on the game at hand.
“Coach Pittman talked a little bit about his high expectations for the day, what a great celebration it would be when they win,” Doak said. “Talked about the missing trophy he hoped to get, which he did.”
Doak, who is a Northwestern graduate, is a staff accompanist at nearby St. Ambrose University and Augustana College and also performs at events. She was impressed how Pittman and Kennedy look after the players.
“I really appreciate that Coach Pittman and Coach Kennedy put into words how much they liked to care for and care about their guys,” she said. “They put a high priority on the whole person and not just a football player.”
ESPN rates Jagusah a 4-star prospect, the No. 6 offensive tackle and No. 74 overall recruit in the nation for the 2023 class.
Jagusah was impressed with Kennedy and the line.
“I talked to him a good amount,” Jagusah said. “I like him. He seems like he’s doing a good job with the O-line. They played pretty well.”
Reynolds Razorback Stadium’s 172 suites made the game experience different for Jagusah.
“The atmosphere is a little different,” he said. “I really don’t know how to describe it. It’s kind of like half the stadium is just boxes. I thought it was interesting but I liked them.”
Doak enjoyed meeting some fans during the game.
“We had some long-time fans sitting next to us,” she said. “They said they sit in those same seats every game, so it was fun to meet them. The people on my right, the woman had been a principal and she knew some of the kids that was currently in the band for Arkansas, and the guy on my left, his daughter was a medical intern with the team.”
Jagusah, who began his junior year with a 3.96 grade point average, spoke to some Arkansas offensive linemen in the locker room after the game and was impressed.
“Just talking to the players and seeing how much they bought into it after one year,” Jagusah said. “I talked to a couple of the O-linemen that are seniors and they’re excited about the future. I talked to a couple of the younger guys and they’re excited in what they’re trying to build.”
He said it’s important to have a good vibe with the linemen at the school of his choice.
“You kind of have to find the right place and you have to find a room full of guys that you fit in with,” he said.
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