Arkansas Gaines commitment number 17 for the 2021 class when Parkview quarterback Landon Rogers decided to re-commit to the Razorbacks on Thursday.
The Hogs also gained a commitment from a defensive end from just down the road in Greenland, J.J. Hollingsworth. That is one of the earliest commitments from a prospect two classes out that I have seen for Arkansas in quite sometime. Ty Evans (freshman quarterback in 2019 with NC State) was the first decommitment of the 2019 class. Evans committed to the Hogs under the Bret Bielema staff on June 18, 2017. He would decommit on November 26, 2017 after Bielema was fired following the final regular season game.
Hollingsworth’s (6’4 250) commitment should likely stick considering he is a home-state kid.
As a sophomore, Hollingsworth had 33 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack.
With the current surge in recruiting for the Razorbacks, Sam Pittman and his staff rank 28th overall and 8th in the SEC according to the current 2021 recruiting standings. Who are other prospects that could commit sooner than later and boost the Hogs’ recruiting ranking?
The first name that comes to mind and that many fans want to see commit is wide receiver Ketron Jackson (6’2 186) from Royse City, Texas. Wide receivers coach, Justin Stepp loves tall, rangy and athletic receivers to place all over the field. Before the shutdown, Jackson said Arkansas is a school that is at the top of his list but Texas and TCU have shown heavy interest in him as well. I do not know when the announcement of his commitment will be but has mentioned times before that it could be during or after football season. Right now, I would say it is a SIX on a confidence level that he will commit to the Razorbacks.
A backup plan for the hogs at receiver is four-star receiver Jayden Thomas (6’1 198). He is rated as the 31st best receiver in the country but has offers from Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State, Georgia and many others. He is another very physical receiver with quality speed when he gets headed north. Most recently, Thomas has been offered by Penn State, too on July 15th and were able to make the top-five for the heavily recruited receiver. He is also hopeful to play baseball at the next level, too. He was able to do a virtual visit last week with the Arkansas baseball staff. I would give a confidence level of SIX right now.
Two defensive lineman have been offered for the 2021 class. Arvell Ferguson (defensive end) and Jerrell Boykin (defensive tackle) are both three-star prospects but have very good talent for what defensive coordinator Barry Odom is wanting to implement. Ferguson (6’4 220) is very versatile on the line of scrimmage. Ferguson was committed to Odom at Missouri during the 2018 season but decommited before landing at Garden City Community College (Kansas). I would say there is a good chance Arkansas makes a move in order to get him to sign with the Hogs eventually. I give them a FOUR on a confidence level.
As for Boykin, it is a tossup for his services right now but I believe Arkansas has an edge over the other schools trying to court his services. Virginia, Texas A&M, Kansas and Arkansas are all suitors for the tackle out of Gonzales, Louisiana. The 6’4 290 space packer could see playing tome early on in his career due to his good size and athletic ability. On Sunday, I was able to speak with Boykin for a moment and was very complimentary of the Razorbacks and their staff. “I was very excited to have received an offer from Arkansas. At the moment the Razorbacks are on the same level as all other schools. They are a great school with and even better coaching staff,” said Boykin.”
Another Atlanta, Georgia prospect is defensive lineman Cameron Ball. He is considered a Georgia Tech lock but do not count Arkansas out for his services. Many schools want him to play on the offensive line but Arkansas has reportedly courting him for the defensive line. At 6’5 300 he should be another guy that could plug the gap defensively for Coach Leblanc on the Razorback defensive line. I give the Hogs a SEVEN for a confidence level.
Arkansas is probably through at running jack with commitments from A.J. Green and Javion Hunt. If they do add a third back for the class it would likely be Cam’Ron Valdez of Rockdale, Texas. He is a solid backup option if anything does happen to the two above. He rushed for nearly 1800 yards and 26 touchdowns last season which led to an offensive MVP in his district. I give a FOUR confidence level. If he receives an opportunity to commit I would give him an EIGHT.
Arkansas could be done at defensive back but would not say no to another addition if Markevious Brown decides to commit. He is a top-20 cornerback and would bolster the already quality depth the Razorbacks have in the secondary. Arkansas did make the top-five for the highly coveted cornerback with Auburn, Miami, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech also courting him. He seems to be a hard Miami lean so I give him a THREE.
Others to watch for:
Running back Logan Diggs (Metairie, LA) THREE
Defensive end Myron Green (New Orleans) THREE
Offensive tackle Rayshaun Benny (Oak Oark, Michigan FIVE