Over the next three weeks Bret Bielema, his staff, and the entire state of Arkansas will welcome recruits on their official visits. Coaches and current players alike will be in overdrive trying to convince them the Arkansas is their You of A, while the recruits will be dwindling down their lists of potential schools until only one remains on National Signing Day (Feb. 6). Arkansas signed five juco players last month, and currently have eight players committed to signing with Arkansas on Signing Day, leaving as many as 12 open spots for recruits to fill before then.
We will be providing you a weekly list of those recruits who will spend one of their official visit weekends in Fayetteville and some background information so when they sign that dotted line they may already be well-known members of our family. Along with these weekly updates we will feature each recruit that makes a commitment to the Razorbacks up to signing day.
This first weekend has some of Arkansas' long-time high school commitments and junior college transfers (who have already signed their letter of intent). Many of the long-time commits will be working to convince those not-so-sure visitors to sign with the Hogs.
According to sources, recruits coming this weekend include:
RB Altee Tenpenny (6-foot-0, 203 lbs, 4.42 40-yard dash) North Little Rock - Unless you have paid exactly no attention to recruiting, you have heard Tenpenny's name thrown around. He is verbaly committed to Alabama, yet has taken a time to reconsider Arkansas because of Bielema's power rushing attack and attraction to his home state program. According to Rivals.com, Tenpenny is the No. 1 recruit in the state of Arkansas, with offers to every major program. He was in Tuscaloosa last weekend, and this will most likely be his final official visit.
TE Hunter Henry (6-6, 235, 4.37) Little Rock; Pulaski Academy- A long-time commit to Arkansas has remained loyal throughout to the program through a tumultuous 2012. Rivals considers him the second-best tight end in the country. The four-star prospect has offers from every major program.
QB Austin Allen (6-2, 217, 4.77) Fayetteville - The pro-style quarterback is one of the "Fayetteville Trio" (all committed to Arkansas) you may have heard and son of high school relations director (fitting, huh?) Bobby Allen. Austin participated in the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback camp and is considered the No. 3 recruit in Arkansas, according to Rivals.com. He has offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, and Tennessee.
S Alex Brignoni (6-1, 195, 4.6) Fayetteville - The second of the "Fayetteville Trio" is the fifth-best senior in Arkansas, according to Rivals.com. He has offers from Arkansas State, Illinois, and Kent State.
OLB Brooks Ellis (6-2, 215, 4.61) Fayetteville; FHS- The last of the "Fayetteville Trio" on this list, all of whom committed on May 21, 2012 during their junior year. The fourth-best senior in Arkansas, according to Rivals.com, has offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt.
OL Reeve Kochler (6-3, 280, 5.46) Honolulu, HI; St. Louis- The uncommitted guard has offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, Oregon, and Tennessee, while Kansas is seen as his top choice, according to 247sports.com. Rivals.com rates him as a top-ten OG in the country.
ATH Dominique Alexander (6-2, 195)Tulsa, OK; Booker T. Washington- Alexander committed to Oklahoma in November, and Scout.com rated him as a safety at No. 89 in the country. He is mulling offers from Arkansas, Texas Tech, and Oregon State.
DE Tevin Beanum (6-4, 233, 4.65) Forest City - The Arkansas commit is the eighth-best senior in Arkansas, according to Rivals.com with other offers from Arkansas State and Ole Miss. He committed in August, For reaching his goal of a 30 on his ACT in November, his mother agreed to buy him a car. So he is smarter than at least 90% of us.
OT Dan Skipper (6-10, 295) Arvada, CO; Ralston Valley- You read that right. He's as tall as Hunter Mickleson, plus 50 pounds, with room to grow. He is currently committed to Tennessee with offers from Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio State, and Ole Miss.
WR Drew Morgan (6-0, 182, 4.4) Greenwood - A former Arkansas State commit was offered and accepted a scholarship to Arkansas on the same day. You think he was just waiting for that call to come? He lead Greenwood to back-to-back state championships and was twice named MVP of the state title game. He has offers from Arkansas State and Auburn (Gus Malzahn obviously really likes this guy.)
LB Martrell Spaight (6-1, 220, 4.6) Coffeyville, KS; Coffeyville C.C.- Spaight is an Arkansas native who went to high school at North Little Rock and has already signed his LOI. However, he, along with other committed recruits in luring uncommitted athletes to Fayetteville. In an interview with WholeHogSports' Richard Davenport, Spaight said he believes in what Bielema is doing and playing for the Hogs was always his dream. Also of note, he played with Tenpenny in high school.
P Sam Irwin-Hill (6-3, 210) San Fransisco, CA, City College of San Fransisco- Dylan Breeding, albeit good years, has run out of eligibility and his void must be filled. Irwin-Hill is rated as the No. 2 JC P, and is receiving interest from Louisiana Tech, Miami (FL), and Utah State as well.
Enjoy your Catfish Hole hushpuppies, everybody!
Note: While many of these recruits have more offers than those listed, the ones listed are from more prominent programs. Also, recruiting is very fluid and any of these players may cancel or reschedule their visits at the last minute.