Razorback fans, it has been quite a few months since I came to you with recruiting tidbits. I took a hiatus for a few months to concentrate on my real job(s) and starting up The Hawg Talk podcast. Today begins my effort moving forward to give you more FREE recruiting content and indepth analysis of what is going on in the world of the rising seniors in the 2021 class.
My thoughts are to do a weekly mailbag where I take questions from our facebook and twitter crowd, weekly “On The Trail” interviews with recruits and other stories our staff will write each week to go along with our podcast. Without furter ado, here are my thoughts on the future of recruiting in the Natural State under Sam Pittman and his Hog football staff.
Arkansas already has a committment from a 2021 prospect in Wynne offensive lineman, Terry Wells (6’4 296). Arkansas has not had the luck of having their first commitment stay committed throughout the process but I do see Arkansas enduring through this year with Wells staying committed. He is an instate kid that has wanted to be a Hog from the get go. A huge addition to this class, Arkansas has the opportunity to pad their stats instate when it comes to offensive lineman in the next two classes.
Continuing in the northeast part of the state resides another outstanding player in this class, Marco Avant (6’2 210). He has been on the Razorback radar for sometime now but has not received an offer to this point. A personal favorite of mine, I believe this kid is a fighter and will put in the effort in to be a Power 5 SEC prospect.Currently, Arkansas State, Kansas and Liberty have offered. With a quality offseason and 2020 season, he could likely have an offer from the Hogs.
The SEC is littered with kids that have sub 4.3-4.5 speed and in class 2A Fordyce, the Redbugs have jitterbug in Ja’Quez Cross. Does the last name Cross ring a bell? It should as his (insert relation) Gary played for the Hogs from 2017-2018 after transferring in from Hutchinson Community College. In 2019, the younger Cross paced the Redbugs with 975 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns. He also was an effective runner with 24 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns. “I have received attention from Louisiana Tech, Kansas, Navy and Louisina,” said Cross. “An Arkansas offer would be great.” When he was asked about parts of his game he needed to work on he included he needed to work on his balance and absorbing hits.
Central Arkanas has put in work to develop their talent and help turn the Little Rock region bakc into a recruiting hotbed for the state. With Bryant, North Little Rock, Jacksonville and the Little Rock School District all are back competing for the playoffs and state championships, the central part of the state has started churning out more SEC and Power 5 talent. The list includes Tyas Martin of Jacksonville, Landon Rodgers, Jaren Summons and Erin Outley of Little Rock Parkview, Deldrick Withers and Buddy Gatson of Joe T. Robinson and Austin Ledbetter out of Bryant. Look out for all the prospects listed above to have offers from Arkansas. Martin is an early favortie for Tennessee. Landon Rodgers is an athletic 6’5 dual threat quarterback with a rocket arm and great legs to extend plays and run when things break down. Outley is another talented central Arkansas tight end who already boasts an offer from the Razorbacks. He recorded 48 receptions, 721 yards and 8 touchdowns. Each season of Outley’s varsity career he has nearly doubled his production from the previous season. He is one to watch for as a fan favorite moving forward in this class. Ledbetter from Bryant is already a Razorback committment on the diamond but the football program could be courting him to be a dual sport athlete in college. He finished the 2019 season seventh in total passing yards with 3126, completed 184 of 296 passes at a 62% rate, 40 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions in the highest classification in the state.
The way I did my instate recruiting ranking last season was personally watching each players film, listening to what coaches said about them and take what scouts around the region have said about each player. Of course, that is how these rankings will be done this year as well and they will be updated throughout the spring, through the season and into the next offseason.
Here are my updated recruiting rankings for the 2021 class:
- Terry Wells OL Wynne 6’4 296; previous ranking: N/A
- Dreyden Norwood DB Fort Smith Northside 6’0 175; previous ranking: 15th
- Tyas Martin DT 6’3 305 Jacksonville; previous ranking: N/A
- Cole Joyce LB 6’0 215 Bentonville; previous ranking: 9th
- Mason Brotherton TE Mena 6’4 243; previous ranking: 7th
- Errington McRae TE Har-Ber 6’3 235; previous ranking: 3rd
- Erin Outley TE Little Rock Parkview 6’3 237; previous ranking: 2nd
- Deldrick Withers DE Joe T. Robinson 6’4 245; previous ranking: N/A
- Marco Avant LB Jonesboro 6’2 215; previous ranking: 11th
- Hunter Smith ATH Joe T. Robinson 6’0 175; previous ranking N/A
- Chris Haywood DE Foreman 6’3 240; previous ranking: 5th
- Kylin James RB Dumas 6’0 210; previous ranking: 1st
- Ja’Quez Cross ATH Fordyce 5’10 170; previous ranking: N/A
- Landon Rodgers QB Little Rock Parkview 6’4 220; previous ranking: 16th
- Jordan Hanna LB Greenwood 6’1 195; previous ranking: N/A
- Austin Ledbetter QB Bryant 6’1 172: previous ranking: N/A
- Corey Platt, Jr. LB Little Rock Christian 6’1 185; previous ranking: N/A
- Marlon Crockett WR Searcy 6’4 190; previous ranking: N/A
- Buddy Gatson QB Joe T. Robinson 6’4 180: previous ranking: N/A
- Jared Summons DL Little Rock Parkview 6’5 330; previous ranking: 13th
2021 Prospects to keep an eye on:
Kam Turner, QB/ATH, Rivercrest
Jamarien Frye, WR, Bryant
Jacolby WIlliams, CB, Ashdown
Braylon Bishop, ATH, Ashdown
Cross Jumper, QB, Jonesboro