Arkansas' class of 2015 was spear-headed by one of the deepest crops of in-state targets in recent memory. It allowed the Razorbacks to get in on several high-end prospects early and supplement them with specific targets from around the country.
The 2016 in-state group isn't as deep, so the coaches will have to spend more time outside Arkansas' borders most likely. That doesn't mean there won't be any attention in state, as the Arkansas kids always seem to get the most attention from Arkansas fans. Here's a few names to keep an eye on.
Jordan Jones committed to Arkansas last year, and so far, he's the only 2016 commit on Arkansas' list. The speedy receiver from Smackover already has an interesting recruiting story. Nick Saban came to visit him recently, and convinced him to take an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa soon. Bret Bielema was in south Arkansas and went to visit him soon after, and wouldn't you know it, Jones cancelled his Alabama visit. After he announced he wasn't going on the trip, Alabama offered him a scholarship. This was all in one or two days.
As of now he's still a solid Razorback and no visits to Alabama have been announced.
It seems every year, there's at least one really big-time in-state prospect fans get a chance to go nuts over. This year is no different and that player is Hope defensive end McTelvin Agim. The highly-touted prospect might have a chance at 5* status according to the recuriting reporters (he's currently listed as a 4*) and is in the process of picking up what are sure to be a boatload of scholarship offers from around the country.
More In-State Prospects
The third and only other in-state player currently with a Razorback offer is Star City defensive tackle Austin Capps. He already holds offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Louisville in addition to the Hogs, and will probably pick up some more before too long.
Pulaski Joe T. Robinson's T.J. Hammonds doesn't have an offer from Arkansas yet, but does have some from a few smaller schools already. I'm just telling everybody now, Hammonds is my favorite recruit in this class solely because I am also a Joe T. Robinson alumni. Go Senators! Hammonds is a skill player who could end up playing a number of different positions.
Other Arkansans who could earn offers are Tyrone Mahone (great name) (cornerback from Bentonville), Damarea Crockett (RB, Little Rock Christian), Deontre Hardwick (LB from Fort Smith Northside), David Beasley (DB from Pine Bluff), Kiondre Thomas (DB from Fort Smith Northside), and John Tate (DL from Pine Bluff). That's by no means an exhaustive list, but those are some of the top junior stars in the state and who knows how many of them will get an offer from Arkansas or when it may come.
Out of State Prospects
The Razorbacks traditionally send out a ton of out of state offers and it's difficult to keep up with all of them until they start making visits to campus. Arkansas is planning on holding a junior day soon and will have the usual camps through the summer, so it will be interesting to see who shows up for them.
We do know certain positions will be more high-priority this year, such as running back. With Jonathan Williams as a senior and Alex Collins eligible for the draft after the season, Arkansas should be able to sell legit early playing time to top flight high school running backs for the first time in a while. Lousiana's Devin White has been mentioned frequently so we'll see if anything comes from that.
Arkansas shouldn't have to recruit a kicker this year and since they only signed 24 prospects in 2015, they'll have 26 spots available in the next class unless they get a late signee. Overall that gives them a few more scholarships to play with than they've had the last couple of years.
It will also be interesting to see if the coaching staff can attract out of state talent at least at the rate they did last year, especially considering last year they were coming off the disastrous 2012 and 2013 seasons, and this year they have significant positive momentum based on how they closed the season. Who are the big offensive linemen Sam Pittman will be going after? The Hogs really need some offensive tackles in this class, especially after missing out on Toby Weathersby last week. Will the Razorbacks finally be able to land a great linebacker or safety? Lots of questions to be answered over the next 51 weeks.