Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss the push for a junior college offensive tackle, an All-America honor for a commit and more.
Arkansas offers second JUCO OL this week
Arkansas has offered two 2018 junior college offensive tackles this week. The latest being Arizona Western redshirt freshman Jahmir Johnson on Tuesday.
The intent is clear: The Razorbacks are seeking immediate help at offensive tackle. That’s what junior college recruits can provide. It’s particularly evident that’s what the Hogs are seeking, considering the timing. Believe it or not, the first signing period is just 11 weeks away. Arkansas is aiming to have one of the players signed at that time be a junior college tackle on track to enroll early.
Johnson (6-foot-6, 290 pounds) has some ties to the program. He attends the same junior college team as Hogs tight end Jeremy Patton did the past two seasons. Former Arkansas wide receiver Cody Hollister also signed with the Hogs from Arizona Western. Johnson attended Imhotep Charter High School in Philadelphia, the same school as Arkansas senior running back David Williams. Arkansas is Johnson’s third offer, joining Central Arkansas and Iowa State.
The Razorbacks also offered Iowa Western tackle Noah Banks on Sunday. Banks (6-7, 295) officially visited Arkansas last weekend. It’s expected the Hogs would take either Banks or Johnson but don’t have room for both.
But pushing for even one of them is clearly a sign Arkansas wants more competition at tackle heading into the 2018 season. And it’s not exactly from lacking bodies at the position. Just one of the Hogs’ three senior offensive linemen is a tackle — top reserve Paul Ramirez. Starters Colton Jackson (LT) and Johnny Gibson (RT) are fully expected to be back next season. As is junior Brian Wallace, who started 10 games at right tackle in 2016, and freshman Dalton Wagner. Others on the roster could play tackle next season and the two current 2018 commits — Luke Jones and Noah Gatlin — are projected tackles.
Seeking junior college help at the spot could be a reaction to a second consecutive season of struggling to protect the quarterback. The Hogs allowed 2.69 sacks per game last season, 13th in the SEC. This season hasn’t been any better at 2.75 per game heading into October. Arkansas is hoping a junior college signee can help alleviate those struggles.
The Hogs wouldn’t be recruiting them if they didn’t need immediate help. Especially not one such as Johnson, who has already redshirted.
CB commit Byron Hanspard II receives All-America jersey
Arkansas cornerback commit Byron Hanspard II received his Under Armour All-America jersey Tuesday during a presentation at DeSoto (Texas) High School.
Hanspard is a 4-star prospect according to the 247Sports composite. He committed to the Hogs last March and is one of three 4-star recruits pledged in the class.
“Today was an extraordinary experience,” Hanspard told USA Today. “To be able to share it with my family, friends and close friends, I just want to continue to have progression, not regression, from this point out.”
The 2018 Under Armour All-America Game is set for Jan. 4 in Orlando, Fla., at Camping World Stadium. Kickoff time is set for 5 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN.
— Desoto Football (@DesotoFB) October 3, 2017
In-state OL Jax Gasaway receives Tulane offer
Arkansas is hopeful about bringing in offensive lineman Jax Gasaway as a preferred walk-on in the 2018 class.
Those chances are continuing to dwindle as Gasaway continues to receive immediate offers to play at the FBS level. His latest offer was extended by Tulane this week. The 3-star prospect now has offers from seven FBS schools.
The Hogs extended the preferred walk-on opportunity at the Trench Hogs camp hosted by the coaching staff last June. Coach Bret Bielema told Gasaway if he joined the program as a walk-on, he’d have a strong case for gaining a scholarship later in his career.
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