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:
Texas LB excited to see Hogs and Horns
2024 LB Payton Pierce.
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman and his staff will take advantage of the Hogs and Texas game atmosphere to host numerous top prospects for unofficial visits Saturday.
Lucas, Texas, linebacker Payton Pierce will be one of several 2024 prospects with offers from the Hogs attending the game.
“I’m ready to come up there and see how everything is on game day,” Pierce said. “I’m super excited to come to the Texas game. It’s the best game of then year to go to. Arkansas versus Texas at home.”
Pierce, 6-2, 225 pounds, of Lovejoy High School also visited Fayetteville in late June. During the visit, he was able to meet two Lovejoy alums, senior linebacker Bumper Pool and his sister Maddie Pool, a Razorback associate director of on-campus recruiting.
“As soon as I showed up I was able to meet Bumper’s sister,” Pierce said. “We knew a lot of people that were up there that we didn’t even know we knew.”
He and his family were able to speak with Bumper Pool, too.
“He introduced himself to me,” Pierce said. “It was really cool because with him coming from Lovejoy where I go to high school, it was nice talking to him and talking about football, the stadium and just how it is at Arkansas, just how connected we are to the same people. We knew a lot of the same people. He’s a good person to look up to.”
Pierce played as a freshman at nearby powerhouse Allen High School and eventually received offers from Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Missouri and Tulsa.
“I came straight from middle school football to high school to varsity at Allen and it was a real big jump,” he said.
He and Arkansas linebackers coach Michael Scherer connected well during his first trip to Fayetteville.
“He’s really easy to talk to,” Pierce said. “I almost think he’s another one of me. He reminds me of my brother. He’s really smart when he talks. He’s a super relaxed, laid back guy and really knows what he’s talking about. When I talked to him we talked about everything in life.”
Pierce will be accompanied by his teammate, sophomore receiver Parker Livingston, who also has an Arkansas offer.
In two games this season, Pierce has 12 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. He also plays quarterback in the Wildcat formation and has 3 carries for 12 yards and 2 touchdowns.
He expects to see his snaps at quarterback increase as the season progresses.
“I feel like I’m the fastest player when I step onto the field,” Pierce said.
Pierce played played inside as a freshman and now gets to show his athleticism at outside linebacker.
“I get to show off my running and running people down and make big plays and open-field tackles,” he said.
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