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:
Connection with Williams, staff has 4-star LB wanting to visit again
ESPN 4-star linebacker Xavier Atkins
Class of 2024 4-star linebacker Xavier Atkins' time spent with the Arkansas coaching staff and defensive coordinator Travis Williams has him planning to make a return trip.
Atkins said the staff and Williams highlighted Saturday’s visit — “the coaching staff and the people that was there and the way they treated me and my family.”
Atkins, 6-1, 205 pounds, attends Summer Creek High School northeast of Houston, part of the Humble Independent School District in Texas. He committed to LSU last July over offers from Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Louisiana Tech.
He added an offer from Williams and the Hogs on Jan. 15. He’s also received offers from Texas A&M, Baylor, Colorado, TCU, Miami and others.
Atkins described how the Arkansas staff treated him and left his mother loving the trip.
“They made sure we was comfortable,” Atkins said. “Was super polite with my family and always just showed me that they wanted me. For real. They showed me how they could use me in their scheme and how much I mean to their program. And just overall was a great time. The head coach stepping out the way talking to my mom and letting her know the value I mean to the team. Arkansas is a contender.”
He had 121 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 1 interception return for a score as a junior while playing at Jonesboro-Hodge High School in Louisiana. He recorded 14 catches for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns while playing receiver.
Atkins, an ESPN 4-star prospect, said he enjoyed hanging out with Williams.
“Hanging out with T-Will is the best, man,” Atkins said. “He’s the coolest defensive coordinator you could ask first man. I love him. He’s family, he been keeping it real since we met.”
ESPN also rates him the No. 22 outside linebacker and No. 274 overall prospect in the nation for the 2024 class.
Atkins said an official visit to Fayetteville will “definitely" happen. He also learned why they call Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas "The Hill."
“Everything is on a hill," he said. "Literally love it, man.”
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