Morning kickoffs tough for attracting visitors

By: Dudley E. Dawson Dudley E. Dawson's Twitter account
Published: Saturday, October 16, 2021
Maumelle's Andrew Chamblee (72) blocks during a game against Vilonia on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Maumelle. (Photo by Jonathan Chamblee/A Thousand Words Photography)
Maumelle's Andrew Chamblee (72) blocks during a game against Vilonia on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Maumelle. (Photo by Jonathan Chamblee/A Thousand Words Photography)

When it comes to football recruiting, it's obvious there are some things that work better than others.

Having 11 a.m. kickoffs is not one of the positives, and this weekend’s group of Arkansas unofficial football visitors number far less than the Razorbacks hosted on campus for their first three home games.

That being said, there are still some difference makers on campus Saturday, a point made by Arkansas coach Sam Pittman.

“I think any time that you have an 11-day advance, 10 to 12 days knowing the time, that certainly helps,” Pittman said. “It is going to hinder your guys that have long travel. That’s obvious.

“We would like to have another night game, hopefully Mississippi State, because that Missouri game (time) is already set (at 2:30 p.m). We sure would like that for recruiting purposes and for the fans. They like night games, too.

“But we are doing pretty well, I think, as far as getting kids here, at least the list I saw and the ones I have been texting about coming here. It is a really nice list for this weekend.”

The list includes a pair of Arkansas 2022 pledges in offensive lineman Andrew 4-star Andrew Chamblee (6-6, 284) of Maumelle and Brownsville, Tenn., 3-star defensive back Jaylen Lewis (6-2, 175) and a 2023 commit in Bentonville offensive lineman Joey Su’a (6-4, 319).

Chamblee, a teammate of fellow Arkansas pledge and defensive tackle Nico Davillier (6-5, 275), is one of 18 commits in a Razorbacks class ranked 20th nationally and seventh in the SEC by 247 Sports' composite rankings.

He is among a strong group of offensive linemen pledged. Also included is Joe T. Robinson’s E’Marion Harris (6-7, 370), Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes standout Eli Henderson (6-5, 300) and Memphis Christian Brothers' Patrick Kutas (6-5, 290).

Lewis is one of three defensive backs in the fold, along with Detroit (Mich.) Belleville’s Myles Rowser (6-1, 190) and Anthony Brown (6-2, 190) of Milan, Tenn.

Su’a is among of a trio of 2023 Razorbacks pledges, along with a pair of tight ends in Ashdown’s Shamar Easter (6-5, 225) and Jaden Hamm (6-6, 225) of Eudora, Kan.

North Cobb, Ga., senior receiver Sam M’Bake (6-3, 205), a top 2023 receiving target with an impressive offer list, is also slated to be on hand.

Arkansas offered M’Bake on Oct. 7 and joins Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Penn State, Tennessee, USC and Wisconsin among other programs.

Garland (Texas) Lakeview Centennial 4-star junior defensive end Trey Wilson (6-3, 230) is slated to be in attendance. He has offers from Arkansas, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Baylor, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, SMU and Utah.

The Razorbacks will have the chance to impress Monsignor (Fla.) sophomore quarterback Adrian Posse (6-4, 210). He already has offers from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, Ohio State and Texas A&M.

Pittman is happy with the exposure his team has been getting this season.

“If you look at us as far as television, we have had great exposure TV-wise with College Gameday, and SEC Nation was here, a lot of ESPN games and a lot of CBS (games),” Pittman said.

Pittman again made it clear that he and his staff will be looking to fortify the current 2022 group – first among high school prospects.

“We would not turn down a great one at any position, one that we go, ‘We have to have,’” Pittman said. “But we are light in the wide receiver room, we would probably take an exceptional tackle on offense, and we need pass rushers on defense. I think we are doing well at linebacker.”

He will also continue to monitor the NCAA transfer portal.

“I think if you went to the portal, we would take a corner, a speed corner, and if you go in the portal you start looking at, 'Are you willing to take a tight end? Are you to take a rush end, a corner, a wideout?'

“There are a lot of places I think we could help our football team through the portal. We will have some scholarships saved for that reason, but not a bunch. I don’t believe in wholesale changes. I believe in building a program through the high school ranks.

"You just have to win enough games to coach the guys. That’s the problem of doing it the way I want to do it. But I am old and I am going to do it like I want to. Hopefully it will work out.”

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