By Otis Kirk
Arkansas has nine commitments for the Class of 2020. What are some of the remaining needs?
The Razorbacks currently have a quarterback, running back, two wide receivers, one offensive lineman and a pair of tight ends committed on offense. A defensive end and cornerback have given them a pledge on defense.
While the majority of the remaining scholarships will likely go to defense there’s still some needs on offense. As of now, it appears that Notre Dame transfer offensive lineman Luke Jones and former Arizona State running back Trelon Smith will count in the 2020 class. That could change if Chad Morris were to award them a scholarship in 2019, but as of now they are tentatively counting in 2020. That makes 11 scholarships used.
At this time, it’s likely the Hogs take one more running back, a wide receiver and another offensive lineman. An interesting prospect is Carthage (Texas) athlete Kelvontay Dixon. He is a teammate of offensive lineman Ty’kieast Crawford who is committed to Arkansas. He could be a running back or wide receiver for the Hogs if he chooses them. He said at the time of his official visit Arkansas wanted him at running back, but he is one who is very capable of playing wide receiver in college.
Arkansas recently offered North Little Rock running back Brandon Thomas after Morris and some of his assistants saw him at a UCA Camp. Questions about Thomas were generally about his speed, but he ran well that day thus easing fears about that aspect of his game.
Arkansas is recruiting some talented offensive linemen and questions have been asked would they really only take one more and possibly turn down a great one? Arkansas is recruiting Athens (Texas) High School’s Garrett Hayes, Memphis (Tenn.) Central’s Chris Morris and Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul’s Episcopal’s Brady Ward among others. Hayes has been to Arkansas for an official visit and Ward is slated to be at Arkansas’ cookout on July 26. All three have been to Arkansas as well previously on unofficial visits. It’s unknown if Hogs can possibly get two, or even one, of this group, but if they can they aren’t going to turn them down.
On defense, Arkansas is still seeking 2-3 more defensive linemen. They would love to add Hazen defensive end Blayne Toll and Houston (Texas) Cy Ridge’s Vernon Broughton. Chances are still good they get Toll, but it appears Texas A&M and Texas have the best shots at Broughton. The Aggies got an official visit this past weekend. Jonesboro’s Jashuad Stewart is a talented defensive end who will provide a playmaker on the line.
At linebacker, Arkansas is on Memphis Whitehaven’s pair of Martavius French and Bryson Eason, Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland’s Aaron Moore along with Bryant’s Catrell Wallace. At 6-foot-6, 215-pounds it’s unknown if Wallace will eventually outgrow the linebacker position. Regardless, he’s a very talented player. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Hogs sign all four of these players if they can. All four are slated to be at Arkansas’ cookout.
In the secondary, Arkansas has a commitment from New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr’s Jamie Vance. They hope to sign 4-5 cornerbacks (which includes nickel backs) and 1-2 safeties. Highland (Kan.) Community College cornerback Brian George was at the spring game and will be back for the cookout. He’s a big-time talent who holds offers from many of the nation’s top schools.
The class is shaping up well right now. Arkansas will need to add to it and that’s something they will likely do prior to and then during the season.