In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson catches up with Chicago Simeon head coach and Arkansas native Dante Culbreath to talk about his two Razorback targets - quarterback Robert Gregory (6-3, 190) and offensive lineman Jordan Diamond (6-6, 290).
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The city of Chicago has been very good to the Arkansas basketball program over the years and now the school’s football program is trying to make in-roads into the Windy City.
The Razorbacks are recruiting the Simeon duo of offensive lineman Jordan Diamond (6-6, 290) and quarterback Robert Gregory (6-3, 190), who helped lead the Wolverines’ offense to a 13-1 mark last season while averaging 51 points during the regular season.
Bot recently joined Simeon fullback Terrick Whiten (5-7, 224) in taking an unofficial visit to Arkansas on Aug. 2 – right before preseason camp got underway.
“They all loved it, all had great things to say about it,” Simeon head coach Dante Culbreath said, who just happens to be an Arkansas native. “That has them really thinking about Arkansas.”
Diamond – one of the nation’s most highly-regarded offensive linemen - got his offer from Arkansas early on in the process while dual-threat Gregory got his recently.
Culbreath is able to share his knowledge about the Razorbacks with both.
“I grew up in Portland, Arkansas, which is down there by Hamburg and Lake Hamilton,” Culbreath said. “My mom still lives there. I have been a Razorback fan all my life so I know all about the school.”
Gregory, who passed for 1,700 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushed for over 1,000 and 17 more scores as a junior, now has offers from Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Eastern Michigan and Toledo.
He rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns and was 20-of-27 passing for 296 yards and three more scores with no picks in a 47-41 win over Mount Carmel to open the 2010 season.
“He is just a great athlete that has been a starter for us since he was a sophomore,” Culbreath said. “He does a great job running our spread offense and can beat you with his arm and his legs. He has been working hard all summer long.”
That sparkling performance included leading his team down the field for a game-winning touchdown with 46 seconds left in the contest.
Gregory plans to make an announcement on his college choice on Sept. 3.
Diamond has offers from Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Miami, Arizona, Ole Miss and Oregon among others.
The Razorbacks jumped up on Diamond’s list after his recent visit, which was sandwiched between unofficial treks to Iowa and Ole Miss.
"Arkansas is very, very underrated," Diamond told Scout.com. "It's a very underrated place. It's actually very nice. It's a place where you can go and keep your mind strictly on football. The coaching staff there was great. The players there were great, too.
"I got to see everything I wanted to see,” Diamond added. “Arkansas was definitely boosted up on the list. I'm hoping to get down there for a game."
Diamond had some nice things to say about Arkansas’ facilities.
"Arkansas' facilities were amazing," Diamond said. "Everything is brand new. They're doing a renovation also to get some more brand new stuff down there. It will be even better.
"Ole Miss, there stuff was nice, too. But it was kind of old down there. They talked about a renovation, too, when I talked to Coach (Houston) Nutt in his office.”
Diamond is in no hurry to make a decision.
“He is going to go through the process and take his visits and make a decision after the season,” Culbreath said.
That season starts on Aug. 26 when powers Simeon and Mt. Carmel meet again as part of a high school triple header at Soldier Field.
Simeon was riding high and undefeated until a 17-14 shocking loss to Lake Zurich in the state quarterfinals.
“These kids have been working hard and been ready to get back out on the field since that loss,” Culbreath said. “We’ve got about 14 days before that and we are going through two-a-days right now to get ready. It’s going to be another great game.”