Arkansas racked up so many 2017 commitments over the summer that there hasn’t been a ton of recruiting news over the last three months or so, but that should start picking up again as the season is winding down, and the Razorbacks picked up a big time player with a big time name on Monday with the commitment of 2018 4-star linebacker Bumper Pool.
You’re going to hear a lot about how awesome of a name that is, especially for a linebacker. You may already have. And it’s all with good reason. It’s real and it’s spectacular. (Note: as someone who is also frequently asked if my name is my real name, I can appreciate that.)
I'm proud to announce I will be fulfilling my childhood dream and committing to play football for the University of Arkansas #WoooPigSooie pic.twitter.com/4uJhC4lkSy— Bumper (@bumperpool10) November 8, 2016
Pool is rated four-stars on both Rivals and 247 and is currently ranked the nation’s #154 overall prospect according to the 247 composite ratings. He chose Arkansas over offers from Alabama, Michigan, LSU, Texas A&M, USC, Baylor and several others.
If Pool’s lofty ranking stays about where it is, he’ll be the highest-rated linebacker Arkansas has signed in several years, at least since signing Otha Peters in 2012. It’s well known that the Razorbacks have had dismal luck with linebacker recruiting over the years. For every Brooks Ellis or Dre Greenlaw there have been two or three more that didn’t pan out, but Pool’s status will inspire some confidence when he arrives on campus two years from now.
It’s impossible to know exactly what Arkansas’ linebacker depth will look like by then. Dre Greenlaw would be a senior in 2018 when Pool would be a true freshman, and there’s the four-linebacker class Arkansas signed in 2016 that is mostly redshirting this year.
Regardless, to pull a player rated this highly from out of state is a big win for Bret Bielema. Pool does seem to have some connections to the state of Arkansas but none, as far as I know, that seem to be overwhelming. Granted, that is a picture of a little Bumper Pool in a Hog jersey in the above tweet, but still.
Pool was on campus this past weekend for the big win over Florida and it wasn’t his first trip to Fayetteville this year. He is Arkansas’ second commitment of 2018 along with 4-star quarterback Connor Noland.