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:
Former Michigan State O-lineman recaps UA visit
O-lineman Keyshawn Blackstock.
FAYETTEVILLE — Former Michigan State offensive lineman Keyshawn Blackstock wrapped his official visit to Arkansas on Sunday afternoon.
Blackstock, 6-5 and 315 pounds, reportedly entered the NCAA transfer portal Oct. 24 while taking advantage of a 30-day window opened to players Sept. 27 after Mel Tucker was fired as Michigan State's head coach.
He has been a hot commodity since entering the portal, with schools such as Arkansas, Ole Miss, Colorado, Louisville, Maryland, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Nebraska and North Carolina State extending offers.
“I got here Friday and had a meeting with Coach [Sam] Pittman and [offensive line] Coach [Cody] Kennedy. Everything was great,” Blackstock said.
Blackstock stayed at the team hotel this weekend so he could spend more time with the coaches and players. He feels wanted in Fayetteville.
“They treat me like I’m a priority here,” he said. “They need me. Coach Pittman keeps reminding me of that, so I feel like that’s big.”
He was a standout at Newton High School in Covington, Ga., prior to enrolling at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, where he was a first-team Junior College All-American in 2022.
Blackstock was rated the No. 1 interior offensive lineman and the No. 6 overall prospect in the junior college ranks, according to On3.com industry rankings, before signing with the Spartans last December.
He previously made official visits to Ole Miss and North Carolina State.
“Arkansas would be a top school for me,” Blackstock said. “I just don’t know where I’ll end up right now. I am open to everything right now, but they will be a top school for me.”
Spending time with Pittman, Razorbacks offensive linemen, former teammates and defensive coordinator Travis Williams and staff highlighted the trip.
“Just having a relationship with Coach Pittman and the (offensive linemen) guys and how they bond and gel with each other,” he said. “I got guys here like Owen Lawson, a punter that’s here, [and] Amaury Wiggins that I played junior college with, so I really trust those guys and the insight they’ve given me into the program. I feel like that that’s tremendous to me. I talked to T-Will and guys like that on the staff and like, ‘We need guys upfront. It starts with the trenches.’
“I feel like that’s big and I’m a priority here.”
Blackstock, who was accompanied by his parents, mentioned two more trips.
“I've got Penn State and Louisville set up right now,” he said.
Blackstock said he plans to make his decision the “second weekend in December or so.”
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