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:
McKinney has future Hog, other Arkansas targets
Arkansas safety commitment Christian Ford
MCKINNEY, Texas — Arkansas has one commitment from McKinney, Texas, in safety Christian Ford, and the Razorbacks have other prospects they are pursuing at the school.
Ford, 6-0, 187, of McKinney, Texas, committed to Arkansas during his official visit in June over offers from TCU, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, SMU, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas and other schools.
The Razorbacks have also extended offers to junior running back Bryan Jackson, junior linebacker Makhi Frazier and junior defensive back Xavier Filsaime.
Frazier, 5-11, 215 pounds, has offers from Arkansas, Minnesota, Utah State and Northern Arizona. The Razorbacks offered him in January.
“The communication is good. I like the relationship we have,” Frazier said of Arkansas. “I just want to keep it that way.”
He had 75 tackles, 5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, 6 forced fumbles and 1 pass breakup as a sophomore. He also rushed 12 times for 115 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Wildcat formation.
Frazier, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman and linebackers coach Michael Scherer stay in contact. He also likes seeing the Razorbacks ranked in the top 10.
“It’s pretty cool because they’re one of the top schools in the country and they play football at the highest level in the SEC,” said Frazier, who has a 315-pound bench press and 455-pound squat.
Frazier, Jackson and Filsaime plan to visit Arkansas for the Alabama game on Oct. 1.
Filsaime, 6-1, 185 pounds, has 30-plus offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, TCU, Florida State, Ole Miss and other schools.
"The SEC is fast, physical football,” he said of what attracts him to the Razorbacks. “You go to the SEC and you can get drafted if you do well. I just love the competition the SEC has.”
He plans to visit Oklahoma this weekend and Georgia in the near future
A former receiver, Filsaime, a consensus 4-star recruit, said playing offense has helped him as a defensive back.
“It was kind of weird at first because I switched over from wide receiver, but some of my skills at wide receiver helped me at safety, like ball skills, speed, along with knowing what the receiver is going to do,” he said. “I get to come down and hit people. That’s what I like the most about it.”
Former Razorbacks defensive tackle Marcus Shavers is McKinney's coach, and he believes Filsaime is an elite prospect.
“He’s one of the best athletes and probably one of the top 10 safeties in the United States in that class of 2024,” Shavers said. “Just a tremendous athlete. He's a 10.5 in the 100-meter dash.”
Jackson, 6-1, 230 pounds, has more than 20 scholarship offers from schools such as Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Ole Miss and Michigan State.
He visited the Razorbacks during the summer.
“It did surprise me a little bit, I’m not going to lie to you,” Jackson said of Arkansas. “I had a good time."
Arkansas’ running game helps make them attractive to Jackson.
“I like how Arkansas runs the ball,” he said. “They get it done in the running game and they also get it done in the passing game, too.”
An ESPN 4-star recruit and the No. 12 running back nationally, Jackson has also visited Southern Cal, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Ohio State.
Shavers sees the Razorbacks and Jackson as a good fit.
“He fits what they do at Arkansas,” Shavers said. “I really think he’s a dynamic running back that can do a plethora of things.”
Ford, too, is proud seeing his future team in the top 10.
“They’ve been going crazy every game,” Ford said. “The defense looks really good – very, very good – and the quarterback is amazing and the running back Raheim (Sanders) knows how to get into the end zone.”
He said a good amount of teachers and students at the school are Razorbacks fans.
“It gets me excited about going to Arkansas,” he said. “Everybody here basically loves Arkansas. We have a big fan base here for Arkansas knowing I’m going to Arkansas and they’re very successful.
"It makes me feel good just walking around.”
Ford said he stays in touch with Pittman, defensive coordinator Barry Odom and cornerbacks coach Dominque Bowman.
“It makes me feel good. It's heartwarming really,” Ford said.
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