Arkansas will have six official grid visitors this weekend and a horde of prospects attending on unofficial visits.
So in addition to Saturday’s big game with defending national champion Auburn, it’s a chance to impress some potential future Razorbacks.
“We have always felt like the most important thing period (in recruiting) is that if you win games, recruits are going to want to come,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Tim Horton said, “and we have seen that over the last two or three years. So there is no doubt what the most important thing is and that is somehow to beat Auburn.
“But at the same time we have got some really good recruits coming in (officially) and we have got some really good players that are coming unofficially. One thing that I do know is I think it is great for these recruits to see Razorback game day and to see the Hog Walk and to see the enthusiasm that is going to be out there and hopefully to see our team really play and perform well.
“At the same time, the official visit kids will get to be in the hotel with us some and they are going to get to see what it is like and how we get prepared with walk throughs and meetings. It is a little bit different official visit than what you get in December and January, but we have had success with some official visits during the season.”
The six prospects scheduled to take official visits to Arkansas this weekend included one Razorback commit, one current Missouri recruit and four uncommitted players.
Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge cornerback Ray Buchanan, Jr. (5-11, 170) is a standout already in the Arkansas fold while the Razorbacks are trying to flip Missouri commit and Allen (Texas) standout Jonathan Williams (5-11, 205), who is also visiting officially this weekend.
Williams is a four-star prospect regarded as the 19th-best tailback in the country by Scout.com. He was one of the players Horton saw last weekend as Arkansas had seven assistants scattered throughout Texas.
The four uncommitted players are Gainesville (FL) cornerback Chris Bivens (5-10, 170), Manvel (Texas) defensive end Taiwan Johnson (6-3, 240), Las Vegas offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley (6-7, 285) and Plano (Texas) linebacker Bryce Cottrall (6-3, 220).
“We are looking forward to getting (all of the recruits) on our campus,” Horton said.
Horton was also asked about an SEC recruiting disadvantage that it would seem Arkansas will have if the Texas A&M series stays at Cowboys Stadium instead of going to home-and-home sites.
Bascially every other year, the Razorbacks would have just two home SEC games in Fayetteville because of a contractual agreement to play two games per season in Little Rock.
“The thing where we don’t agree with the SEC – and I am sure Georgia and Florida feel the same way – is there is going to be a lot of recruits from Texas at that Oklahoma and Texas football game this weekend,” Horton said. “In the Big 12, you can invite kids to that game. In the SEC, you can not invite kids to a neutral site game. So that is a rule that I think is a competitive disadvantage to an SEC school against Texas or Oklahoma and those are schools that we recruit against.
“We would love to see a change and I am sure that A&M would love to see a change,” Horton said. “Georgia would love to see a change. Florida would love to see a change. Because they play the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville as a neutral site (game). So maybe that can get changed, but if not – well, that’s the cards we’ve been dealt.”
Arkansas can only bring recruits to Little Rock unofficially and only can do that for one of the two games.
“We can only bring them to one game in Little Rock as opposed to two,” Horton said. “For example this year, we brought them to New Mexico game and we are not taking them to the Mississippi State game. So there are two home games that we don’t get recruits in for. It is what it is, but we would love to see that rule change.”
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The Razorback basketball team will also host a trio of basketball recruits in Birmingham (AL) Central Park Jacorey Williams (6-8, 190), Garland (Texas) Naaman Forest center Prince Ibeh (6-11, 220) and Plano Wast point guard Malcolm Mann (6-0, 170)..