Times-Picayune reporter Ted Lewis is reporting that 4-star linebacker Otha Peters from Covington, LA has flipped his commitment from the University of Tennessee to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Peters has been a Vols verbal commitment since July 21.
Peters is a 4-star recruit at 6’1”, 221 pounds, and is considered the sixth-best inside linebacker in the nation per Rivals.com.
Lewis noted in his report that Covington coach Malter Scobel was worried about the instability of the Tennessee program in the upcoming years. Scobel added that Arkansas did not have the same challenges ahead of them as Tennessee.
Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino and new defensive coordinator Paul Haynes have been searching for top talent to replace departing seniors Jerry Franklin and Jerico Nelson in their linebacker unit.
Early speculation centered on mid-term commitment Austin Flynn and his ability to play linebacker for the Hogs in 2012. Flynn may still get a chance to switch from his defensive end position to linebacker for the Razorbacks, but the signing of Peters should help Haynes add depth at linebacker for the upcoming season.
Peters is the third linebacker to verbally commit to the Hogs' 2012 recruiting class, joining A.J. Turner (Lepanto, Ark.) and Vin Ascolese (New Bergen, N.J.).
Razorback Recruiting Speculation
Word is that 4-star junior college wide receiver Courtney Gardner may flip from Arkansas to Oklahoma due to the restrictions the SEC places on incoming junior college players. Gardner would have to take extra classes if he were to enroll in any SEC school except Arkansas.
The Big 12 does not have the same enrollment standards as the SEC.
Recent junior college verbal commitment Demetrius Wilson is reported to not have any class restrictions delaying his ability to enroll at Arkansas once his spring semester is completed.
If Gardner de-commits, the Hogs will still have two or possibly three scholarships remaining. Which recruits will receive the final two or three scholarships? The possibilities are debatable.
Despite the false report that one of the Razorbacks' top recruiting prospects, Dorial Green-Beckham of Springfield, MO, committed to Missouri, the Hogs still remain in the running as his college of choice. He is still a strong possibility.
Green-Beckham is scheduled to announce his decision Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. EST on ESPNU.
5-star offensive tackle Jordan Diamond is reportedly giving his private decision Tuesday night to the school of his choice but not making an official announcement until Friday, Feb. 3. The Hogs are among his favorites.
Diamond has taken official visits to Michigan, Auburn, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Arkansas.
Bobby Petrino and staff will hold a spot for Diamond if he privately commits. If the Hogs only sign 24 players on Wednesday, chances are Diamond will be a Razorback come Friday.
With the verbal commitment of Otha Peters, the likelihood of linebackers Reggie Northrup (4-star, Jacksonville, FL) or Seth Jacobs (4-star, Arroyo Grandee, CA) coming to Arkansas looks slim. Jacobs played linebacker in high school but is being looked at as a safety for the Hogs.
4-star cornerback Davont’e Neal from Scottsdale, AZ, 3-star cornerback Chris Humes from Hoover, AL, or 3-star cornerback Gary Simon from St. Petersburg, FL could end up taking one of the remaining scholarships. If Jacobs chooses to play safety in college, he could end up back in the conversation taking one of these final scholarships.
Should Green-Beckham choose Missouri or Texas over the Hogs, speculation is 4-star wide receiver Javon Williams from Chandler, AZ or 3-star wide receiver Brad Culp from Fayetteville, AR could take that scholarship.
Here’s a list of the 23 verbally committed Razorbacks recruits:
OG Cordale Boyd, 3-star, 6’3”, 290 pounds, Memphis, TN
OG Jeremy Ward, 3-star, 6’4”, 275 pounds, Pottsville, AR
WR D’Arthur Cowan, 3-star, 6’1", 175 pounds, Olive Branch, MS
WR Keon Hatcher, 4-star, 6’1”, 195 pounds, Owasso, OK
WR Eric Hawkins, 3-star, 6’5”, 220, Longview, TX
WR #Demetrius Wilson, 3-star, 6’2”, 170 pounds, Glendale, AZ
RB Nathan Holems, 3-star, 6’1”, 180 pounds, Port Arthur, TX
RB Donovan Roberts, 3-star, 6’0”, 200 pounds, Norman, OK
TE Jeremy Sprinkle, 3-star, 6’6”, 215, White Hall, AR
RB Jonathan Williams, 4-star, 5’11”, 205 pounds, Allen, TX
WR Courtney Gardner, 4-star, 6’3”, 215, Rocklin, CA
CB Ray Buchanan Jr., 3-star, 5’10”, 170 pounds, Suwanee, GA
CB Jared Collins, 3-star, 5’11”, 170 pounds, Tulsa, OK
DE Brandon Lewis, 3-star, 6’5”, 220 pounds, Memphis, TN
SS Defonta Lowe, 3-star, 6’2”, 180 pounds, Bearden, AR
LB A.J. Turner, 3-star, 6’3”, 200 pounds, Lepanto, AR
LB Vin Ascolese, 3-star, 6’2”, 215 pounds, New Bergen, NJ
LB Otha Peters, 4-star, 6’1”, 220 pounds, Covington, LA
DE JaMichael Winston, 3-star, 6’6”, 230 pounds, Prichard, AL
DE Deatrich Wise Jr., 4-star, 6’5”, 220, Carrolton, TX
FS Will Hines, 3-star, 6’1”, 175 pounds, Waco, TX
DE Taiwan Johnson, 4-star, 6’3”, 230 pounds, Manvel, TX
DE *#Austin Flynn, 3-star, 6’4”, 250 pounds, Los Angeles Harbor CC
*Already enrolled at University of Arkansas
# Junior college player
Position-by-position breakdown of Arkansas' 2012 verbal commitments
Offensive line: two
Running backs: three
Wide receivers: five
Tight ends: one
Defensive line: five
Arkansas jumped in the recruiting rankings from No. 17 to No. 15 on Scout.com while Rivals.com moved the Hogs from No. 30 to No. 28 with the verbal commitment of Peters.
All verbal commitments are non-binding until a letter of intent is signed.