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:
Garth aside, O-lineman gets better look at Arkansas
Consensus 4-star offensive lineman Fletcher Westphal and his parents, Libby and Chris, with Arkansas coach Sam Pittman and offensive line coach Cody Kennedy
ESPN 4-star offensive tackle Fletcher Westphal previously visited Arkansas twice, but he learned much more about the program during Saturday’s trip to Fayetteville for the Red-White scrimmage.
He visited Arkansas last April with his mother Libby, and for the South Carolina game in September with his mother and father Chris.
Last year’s spring visit was somewhat limited because of the Garth Brooks concert at Reynolds Razorback Stadium and the need for the campus parking lots to be cleared prior to the event.
Game day visits are usually limited to watching the game and spending a small amount of time with coaches. Saturday’s trip with his parents gave them a more in-depth look at what Arkansas had to offer.
“We had some kind of like missing pieces of the puzzle that we hadn’t done on previous visits because they’ve been cut short because of a Garth Brooks concert,” Westphal said. “We got to see housing, academics, all that stuff we didn’t get to see in the past and that was great to see.”
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Westphal, 6-8, 325 pounds, of Leesburg (Va.) Tuscarora, narrowed his list of schools to 10 on Nov. 10, including Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Washington, Oregon, Clemson, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Florida and Michigan State.
He has a 3.71 grade-point average and is a member of the National Honor Society and also a member of DECA, an organization that prepares leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
Westphal and his parents got a tour of the approximately 55,000 square foot Jerry and Gene Jones Academic Center.
“That’s top of the line right there,” Westphal said. “You can’t get much better than that. You see that cafeteria there, too. I’m an O-lineman, food is food and you have a lot of it. That’s good for me.”
A consensus 4-star recruit, Westphal is rated as ESPN’s No. 18 offensive tackle and No. 202 overall prospect in the nation for the 2024 class. He’s rated the No.4 prospect in Virginia.
Arkansas was Westphal’s 10th visit this spring. He left Fayetteville for his 11th visit to Kansas and then will visit Washington. Others outside his top 10 he’s visited this spring include Florida State, North Carolina and Michigan.
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After his trip to visit the Huskies, he said he’ll narrow his list and schedule official visits.
“After I take that Washington visit, I will schedule five OVs and that will be the top five,” Westphal said.
He and his parents wrapped up the visit Saturday with a meeting with Razorbacks Coach Sam Pittman and offensive line coach Cody Kennedy.
“We were in there like for 90 minutes, so we talked about a lot of stuff,” Westphal said. “Quite literally everything. Lot of it was us just chatting it up a little bit. Talking about food as a bunch of O-linemen do. How I could be a part of the team.
“How they’re going to help me so I can help them in the college football world.”
He gave the status of where Arkansas stands after his latest trip to Fayetteville.
“Definitely standing pretty good after seeing all the missing pieces of the puzzle and after talking to Coach Pitt and after talking to Coach Kennedy. They’re definitely sitting pretty well,” he said.
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