The Recruiting Guy

Football Hogs impress top recruits, extend offers

Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman calls the hogs after he and his staff are recognized on Saturday, March 4, 2023, during the first half of the Razorbacks’ 88-79 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

Arkansas coach Sam Pittman and his staff impressed numerous recruits Saturday and extended offers to several others.

Class of 2025 running back DJ Dugar Jr., 6-1, 205 pounds, of Leander (Texas) Glenn, added an offer from the Razorbacks during his visit to go along with others from Oklahoma State and Texas-San Antonio. 

“Love the culture and the coaches,” he said. 

He had 207 carries for 1,418 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore. 

ESPN 4-star cornerback Jaden Allen, 5-10, 165, of Aledo, Texas, is a former Texas commitment who received an offer while visiting Saturday. 

He said talking to the coaches and getting the offer from Pittman highlighted the trip. 

“Coach (Marcus) Woodson and Coach (Deron) Wilson are super cool. (I) can definitely see myself playing for those guys,” Allen said. 

He plans to make a return trip to Arkansas in June.  

“Arkansas is the only official I have set up,” he said. 

He also has offers from Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Southern Cal, LSU and other schools. 

Class of 2025 defensive tackle Dilan Battle, 6-3, 315, of Arlington (Texas) Mansfield Timberview, added an offer from Arkansas. 

“The visit was great,” Battle said. “I loved the campus and I will definitely be going back.” 

He arrived in Fayetteville with offers from Texas, Texas A&M, Michigan and Miami. The tour of the school as well as the coaching staff stood out. 

"Arkansas is definitely one of the schools I am considering right now,” Battle said. “The visit definitely boosted that, because I got to meet the coaches in person.”

He praised defensive line coach Deke Adams and assistant defensive line coach Keith Jones. 

“I think my position coach Coach Adams is a good person,” he said. “He and other coaches made me feel very comfortable.”

Battle has a few other visits coming up. 

“I am visiting TCU on the 7th,” he said. “I will be in Austin on the 25th, and I haven’t decided on the first of April between Texas A&M or Miami.”

Sophomore defensive lineman Julian “Juju” Marks, 6-7, 250, of Overland Park (Kan.) St. Thomas Aquinas, made the trip and left with an offer.

“The highlight was definitely the photoshoot,” Marks said. “They gave me a rundown on where they see me playing, so I really liked that. I really like the D-line coach.”

The offer from the Razorbacks joins others from Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas State and Kansas. 

Junior defensive back Juju Pope, 6-0, 195, of Batesville (Miss.) South Panola, enjoyed speaking with Pittman. 

“The highlight of the day was speaking to Coach Pitt,” Pope said. “Arkansas stands high on my chart. Getting to know how their school works really helps their chances.”

Pope has offers from Arkansas, Alabama, Oregon, Louisville, and Michigan. He is impressed with lead recruiter and co-defensive coordinator Marcus Woodson.

"Coach Woodson is a very smart, nice man,” he said. “Most definitely coming back.” 

Class of 2024 cornerback Jonathan Kabeya, 5-11, 170, of Colleyville (Texas) Heritage, said Arkansas ranks high after his visit. 

"The highlight of my visit was definitely hearing all the coaches talk about themselves, explain their backgrounds and explain how life is as a Hog,” he said. “Arkansas is high on my list right now mainly because every day you're playing against the best competition, and thats what I love, is competition.

“It also helps a lot (with) the relationship that I am building with these coaches.”

Kabeya has offers from BYU, Texas Tech and Texas State. He hit it off with secondary coach Deron Wilson. 

“Coach Wilson is an awesome dude,” he said. “I love his vibe and energy and want to get to know him more.” 

He plans to visit Arizona, Arizona State and other programs later this month. 

Freshman offensive lineman Jackson Cantwell, 6-8, 275, of Nixa, Mo., also received an offer from Arkansas during his trip.

His time with offensive line coach Cody Kennedy and other coaches highlighted his visit. 

“Definitely the coaching staff. They’re probably one of the better coaching staffs I’ve met with,” Cantwell said. “Coach Kennedy is a great guy. I knew my head coach knew him beforehand, so he told me he was a good guy. 

“I trust (my coach), but I still like to meet with him myself, but he’s definitely as good as advertised. He’s really good at what he does and really good at building relationships.

“I’m excited to see where it goes in the future.” 

He had offers from Texas A&M, Miami, Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State before making his way to Fayetteville. 

He is the son of former USA Olympians Christian and Teri (Steer) Cantwell. His father won a silver medal in the shot put at the 2008 Beijing games while his mother took part in the 2000 Sydney games. 

Cantwell said SEC schools have top-notch facilities, and Arkansas looks to be top tier. 

“Arkansas has one of the better ones I’ve seen so far,” he said. “You just can’t get a whole lot better than that.”