Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. This time, we discuss the spring game, stout competition for a commit and more.
Arkansas will hold its spring game April 29, making it 1 of the final 6 FBS programs to play the intrasquad game.
None of the other 5 programs holding a game the same day are regular recruiting competitors for the Razorbacks. Every other SEC school will have played its spring game before April 29 rolls around.
The timing means the Hogs won’t be competing with others to bring in recruits for the game. They are expected to host several recruits April 29 as they have each Saturday throughout the spring. They’ll also hold a picnic event, allowing coaches to spend time with recruits and their families.
“I have noticed the (timing advantage),” wide receivers coach Michael Smith said Thursday. “Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve always been the last spring game, so I’m used to it. We are, I think, taking advantage of getting some kids up here because there is nowhere else to go.”
Independence (Kan.) Community College defensive tackle Emmit Gooden recently told SEC Country he plans to visit Arkansas for the spring game.
Gooden (6-foot-4, 310 pounds) is the No. 2 junior college defensive tackle in the 2018 class, according to 247Sports composite rankings. He has offers from Alabama, Georgia, Louisville, Mississippi State, Missouri, Southern Cal and Texas-San Antonio.
Defensive line is a high-priority position in the 2018 class. Gooden appears to be emerging as one of the Hogs’ top targets at the position.
Arkansas is going to have a fight on its hands to keep 4-star tight end Luke Ford committed.
Texas become the most recent offer for Ford (6-7, 250) on Thursday. Illinois is expected to visit his school on Friday and LSU will do the same next week, according to Scout.com.
The Carterville, Ill., prospect is 1 of 4 4-star commits in the Razorbacks’ 2018 class. He committed last month following a 2-day visit to Fayetteville.
As a quality control assistant, Arkansas’ Tanner Burns in limited in what he can do as a recruiter. Lately, he’s been maximizing the opportunities.
Burns, who works primarily with special teams, helped give defensive end target Nick Alftin a positive experience during a recent visit. Burns also sold the Hogs on a recent commit — preferred walk-on kicker Blake Mazza.
“I probably started talking to Coach Burns the beginning of my senior year, following on Twitter, messaging,” Mazza told SEC Country earlier this week. “But it developed pretty high closer to March. That’s when all the schools started realizing they needed kickers. He started messaging me. It’s close to home. It was a good fit.”
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