In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Pine Bluff junior tight end Will Gragg (6-4, 245) - who is one of Arkansas' main 2015 recruiting targets and among many in-state 2015 prospects accumulating a wealth of offers from outside the state. This story is free courtesy NWA Chevy Dealers. Click the banner to learn more.
It's no secret that the 2015 class is Arkansas is going to be one of the best and most talented that this state has seen in many, many years.
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has already offered six prospects in that class and is likely to offer a few more sooner than later.
It's also no surprise the former Razorback head football coach made a splash this week by offering many of those guys.
Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino – once head of the program here – offered six different prospects in Arkansas, five juniors and one sophomore to become just one of the many schools that is trying to take talent away from the home team.
One of those was Pine Bluff tight Will Gragg (6-4, 245), whose brother Chris was a tight end for Petrino at Arkansas and is currently with the NFL's Buffalo Bills.
The Cardinals' offer added to a list for Gragg that also includes Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
“It's been a very humbling experience for me and I just feel very blessed about all the offers that are coming my way,” Gragg said. “I have a lot of great schools who have offered me and come in here to see me and to have all these options is just so rewarding.”
It will be a rare weekend home for Gragg, who has made unofficial visits to Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and others since his season ended.
He'll be at Arkansas for its Junior Day on March 1 and will no doubt talk to Razorback tight end coach Barry Lunney – his chief recruiter – many times between now and then.
“Arkansas has probably recruited me harder than anybody else although all the schools have done a great job,” Gragg said. “Coach Lunney talks to me 2 or 3 times a day be it via the phone, twitter or someway. He is a great guy and a great coach and somebody that I could really see myself playing for.”
Many fans have speculated that Gragg has made up his mind to head out of state, but he says nothing could be further from the truth.
“There are a lot of schools that I like, but I love Arkansas,” Gragg said. “That's the team that I grew up rooting for, that my brother played for, that I have seen more games in person and on TV than any other team. So anyone who says I am not looking to go to Arkansas just doesn't know what they are talking about.
“I am going to go see as many schools as I can and see what is best for me,” Gragg added. “But, Arkansas is a place that I can certainly see myself playing and doing a lot of great things for Coach Lunney and Coach Bielema.”
If Arkansas lands Gragg, they are also likely to get North Little Rock junior wide out K.J. Hill, who had 83 catches for 1,210 yards and 20 touchdowns this season while 2,071 all-purpose yards and 26 scores.
Hill, who now has nine offers after adding Notre Dame on Thursday, will also be visiting Arkansas on March 1.
“We have talked about playing together in college since we were win in the seventh grade so its been a dream for us for quite awhile now,” Gragg said. “A lot of the same schools are starting to offer both of us so that is likely to happen.”
Gragg recently narrowed his top 5 to Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, Louisville and Ole Miss and says he will announce his decision on Sept. 23 – his birthday.
“That was really an early five and I guess some schools could move in and out, but those are all schools that I am really, really like,” Gragg said. “I am really excited about how things are going.”