The Final Push

Brandon Alexander

In his weekly recruiting column, Hawgs Illustrated's Dudley E. Dawson takes a look at where Arkansas is on the last weekend before Wednesday's national signing date. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.




As this column is being written, there are some four key Arkansas grid 2011 recruiting targets who have taken official visits to Fayetteville still contemplating their college choice.

There are seven or eight taking official visits this weekend – some of them hoping not all of that aforementioned quintet ends up as Razorback.

And there is a group of 28 prospects considered official Razorback football commitments – a list that is expected to sees some fall off before next Wednesday's national signing date.

Such is the last weekend of the recruiting when rumors fly, last-minute visits are scheduled or canceled, kids flip and college football fans worry more about where their team is going to be ranked nationally than the national deficit.

"One thing you can count on in recruiting is that there is nothing that you can count on in recruiting," Scout.com recruiting analyst Greg Powers once told me.

Arkansas was once ranked fifth in Scout.com's national team rankings and had the SEC's second-highest ranked class.

But it heads into the final weekend at No. 14th, which leaves it setting as the sixth best class in the league per Scout.com.

That's not so much on what they haven't gotten done lately as it is a product of getting so many commitments early and other programs now padding their totals.

The Razorbacks are set to hear the decision Friday morning on Louisiana four-star prep defensive tackle Mickey Johnson (6-1, 305).

He will announce between Arkansas, LSU and Tennessee and do so in a low-key way – no public ceremony, no trio of hats, just a call to the lucky head coach he will be playing in college football for the next four of five seasons.

UPDATE: Johnson committed to LSU.

Arkansas is awaiting the decisions of a pair of tight ends in Seagoville (Texas) High's Andrew Peterson (6-8, 250) and whether committed Chris Barnett will stay with his pledge. California prepstar Dillon van der Wal (6-5, 240) was told that Arkansas was fuil.

Peterson is reportedly visiting Miami this weekend while van der Wal is an Arizona State commit who took a visit to Arkansas last week.

The Razorbacks are also in the mix still for Georgia linebacker Cedrick Cooper, who reportedly has told two coaches this week that he is headed their way – albeit those coaches don't work at the same school.

The visit list this week includes a big-time defensive end in Brandon Alexander (6-6, 230), who is down to Arkansas, Texas and Texas A&M.




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