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:
Family atmosphere helps Hogs land Mississippi LB
Arkansas’ family atmosphere led linebacker Alex Sanford to commit to the Razorbacks after his official visit to Fayetteville this weekend.
He felt a strong connection with Coach Sam Pittman and linebackers coach Michael Scherer.
"For one, me personally, I'm real family orientated,” Sanford said. “Come to Arkansas and it's family everywhere. Coach Pittman, he’s like family. Coach Scherer, he's like family. The players are like family. Everybody is straight family.
”I'm real family orientated, so it's got to be family first.”
Sanford, 6-3, 240 pounds, of Oxford, Miss., picked Arkansas over offers from Ole Miss, Tennessee, Memphis, South Alabama, Jackson State, Troy and other schools. He and his family previously visited the Razorbacks on March 12.
Last year’s defense saw linebackers Bumper Pool, Grant Morgan and Hayden Henry each record 100 tackles or more. The Arkansas defensive scheme also helped him decide to be a Razorback.
"Then the way this defense is set up for me,” Sanford said. “It’s set up for linebackers to make plays. When you come here you're going to make plays. You are going to get playing time, so there's lots you are going to do here. That's why I'm coming here."
An On3.com 3-star prospect, he recorded 131 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles and 2 blocked punts as a junior. Sanford helped lead Oxford to the Class 6A North state title as a sophomore and the semifinals last year.
Sanford, who was hosted by freshman linebacker Mani Powell, only needed one of his five allotted official visits to know his future school.
"The visit went great,” he said. “There's no other experience like it. When you get here for the visit all the coaches, players, whoever is here, it's going to feel like home."
He's the 16th commitment and the third linebacker to pledge to the Hogs for the 2023 class.
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