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It’s not just University of Arkansas and Ole Miss fans wondering what West Helena cornerback Darius Winston is going to announce Friday at noon on statewide television.
It’s also other potential future Razorbacks as evidenced by a text sent to me Monday night by Texas High wide receiver Cobi Hamilton during the UCLA-Tennessee game.
“Hey, have you heard anything from Darius Winston?” Hamilton texted.
While I have indeed talked to the 5-star standout and feel very certain about where he is going, it’s not my place to spoil Darius’ surprise.
And goodness knows 17-year-olds change their minds all the time so nothing is absolute.
But if the Razorbacks are fortunate to get a re-commitment from Winston, it will likely be a big boost for the rest of 2009 recruiting for Bobby Petrino and his assistants.
Like with Hamilton (6-3, 195, 4.5), who had 6 catches for a whopping 206 yards and 3 touchdowns in Texas High’s 42-14 season-opening win over John Tyler on Saturday night.
“I think Red is coming on to me,” noted Hamilton , who got a call from Arkansas at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 1..
Hamilton has said for several weeks now that Arkansas is number one on his list with Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State also in the mix.
“Yes, Arkansas remains my number one team,” Hamilton said. “I am just trying to be sure about everything.”
If he does indeed choose the Razorbacks, he would be reunited with former Texas High quarterback Ryan Mallett, who is redshirting this season after transferring from Michigan.
“That would be great to get up there and catch passes from him again,” Hamilton said. “He is a great quarterback and he’s letting me know how much he wants me to come up there.”
Hamilton is set to visit Arkansas officially for its Oct. 4 game with Florida and is likely to take a trip to Kansas on Sept. 17.
“We have two open dates so those would be great times for me to take a couple of visits,” Hamilton said. “Then maybe I can be sure of what I am doing.”
Hamilton was certainly sure of what he was doing on Saturday night as he had three long touchdown catches.
One of those found him jumping in front of a defender to snatch the ball away and then racing away from the defensive backs who had angles on him.
“The ball was under thrown a little bit and I knew that I had to make a play,” Hamilton said. “So I had to jump on it and do something. I got around the guy to catch it and then things just broke the right way for me and I was able to take it to the house.”
It was a banner second half for Hamilton that sparked his team to the win.
“They were double covering me in the first half with a safety over the top, but we made some adjustments and I got free in the second half,” Hamilton said. “It was great for the team and myself to get off to such a great start.”
Texas High will actually make a foray into Arkansas this Friday night to take on Lake Hamilton, which is led by Tulsa quarterback commit Phillip Butterfield.
“I know that they have a quarterback that is committed to Tulsa and that they had a great 7-on-7 season,” Hamilton said. “I am sure it is going to be a big challenge.”
Since he was playing Saturday night, he was unable to take in the Razorbacks’ 28-24 win over Western Illinois.
“It obviously was closer than what I expected it to be, but I did like hearing about how many young guys they played and how much they passed the ball (41 times),” Hamilton said. “That’s very exciting and I know they are going to get a lot better as they get used to the new system.”