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:
California LB sticking with Razorbacks
Arkansas defense coordinator Travis Williams (left) speaks Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, with coach Sam Pittman during practice inside the Walker Pavilion on the university campus in Fayetteville.
Class of 2025 4-star linebacker Noah Mikhail has visited the University of Arkansas twice, and it appears a third visit will happen after his previous scholarship offer from the Hogs was reconfirmed by defensive coordinator Travis Williams.
Mikhail received an offer from Razorbacks former linebackers coach Michael Scherer in May. He visited Fayetteville in July and for the Oct. 1 Alabama game.
Williams told Mikhail on Monday the offer still stands.
“It was good, catching up, getting to know him,” said Mikhail, whose cousin Kylie Harris is a senior at the UA. “He talked to me and my dad for about 20 minutes. He seems like a great guy. Really strong faith-based family and he seem like an all-round great guy the way he coaches his players and obviously with him being a linebackers coach. That was a great thing to see.”
He had a favorable first impression of Williams.
“He seems like a great guy, very energetic, very upbeat,” Mikhail said. “I’m excited to see him in-person.”
Mikhail, 6-3, 213 pounds, of Bonita High School in La Verne, Calif., has 25 scholarship offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Southern Cal, Oregon, Texas A&M, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, California and others.
His relationship with Arkansas assistant linebackers coach/defensive analyst Jake Trump has been steady during the recruiting process.
“He’s been in touch with my family ever since the first time I was down there,” Mikhail said. “I feel like I’ve built a really good relationship with him and it’s been great getting to know him. He’s a great guy, great coach.”
Mikhail recorded 112 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 quarterback hurry, 1 interception, 4 pass breakups and 3 forced fumbles last season as a sophomore. He also had 23 carries for 200 yards, and 28 receptions for 403 yards and 3 touchdowns.
As a freshman, Mikhail had 75 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 quarterback hurry, 2 interceptions, 1 pass deflection and returned 2 of 3 recovered fumbles for a touchdown. He also blocked a punt and recovered it for a score.
He also had 23 receptions for 272 yards and 4 touchdowns as a receiver.
Williams complimented him and made sure to tell Mikhail he was wanted.
“He was saying he loves how I play and is excited to meet me, saying I’m one of their top guys in their '25 class. That’s exciting to hear,” Mikhail said.
He is eyeing a return trip to Fayetteville in the near future.
“I don’t have a specific date, but I’m probably thinking of getting down there in the spring,” he said.
Mikhail, who recently visited Washington and Southern Cal, said he remembers the 2022 Arkansas-Alabama football game well.
“The atmosphere was crazy, energetic, loud,” Mikhail said. “The atmosphere topped anything I’ve seen so far.”
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