Arkansas Football: Latest Summer News and Recruiting Updates
Arkansas could have one of its better seasons in the program's history, returning 13 starters from a year ago, having a favorable SEC schedule and getting a healthy Knile Davis back. The Razorbacks also picked up 25 recruits in the 2012 class, with several of them being highly recruited from other top programs.
So far in 2013, Arkansas has gotten off to a slow start, landing just eight early commitments, but did pickup its possible quarterback of the future in Austin Allen. Although things aren't looking too great for this program right now as far as recruiting is concerned, there are still many top recruits out there that have Arkansas on their list.
Here are some of the latest updates for your Arkansas Razorbacks.
Players Plead Not Guilty
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Wide receivers Marquel Wade and Maudrecus Humphrey as well as tight end Andrew Peterson have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of burglary, according to Edward Aschoff of ESPN.com. These three players were arrested back in May, being accused of allegedly burglarizing dorm rooms.
Interim head coach John L. Smith, says that these players are no longer on the Arkansas team until the legal process plays itself out and they earn their way back onto the field. Via Aschoff:
Marquel Wade, Maudrecus Humphrey and Andrew Peterson are not members of our football team and once the legal system has ruled on their status we will determine their status with the team.
Combined, all three players have contributed nine receptions for 71 yards, but they all looked to have expanded roles this year, with so many key receivers no longer on the roster.
That's what they're going to have to do. It's a matter of you getting up -- you're not a member of this football team -- and you earn your way back onto this team. It's going to be very, very hard and they understand that. And it's going to be demanding. Smith said about his players getting a chance to earn their way back onto the team.
Justin Manning Has Arkansas in Top 8
One of the top defensive tackles in the 2013 class is 5-star recruit Justin Manning. At 6'2", 280 pounds, he is athletic as they come and gets into the backfield in a hurry. He is extremely strong, has great pursuit and plays the game with a high motor. He does not expect to make a decision anytime soon, but does have an idea of the schools he is considering.
The top eight schools that he told ESPN were LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Arkansas and USC. He says that all of those schools have a great history of producing NFL players and have a winning tradition.
Considering he is the younger brother of former Oklahoma star DeMarcus Granger, many believe the Sooners are the front-runners for his services. But he will likely make a decision sometime in November, during homecoming, so each school has enough time to make their case.
Will Pat Martin Commit to Arkansas?
Pat Martin was a 4-star safety prospect back in the 2011 class, who ended up choosing Tennessee over Arkansas at the last minute. He then began having second thoughts and left the Volunteers for a junior college right before the season began. Now he hopes to get a second chance from Arkansas, which he will visit on July 20.
'I have a great impression of Coach Klenakis' Martin said. 'He keeps it real with me. He says that Arkansas needs an older guy to come in and play safety right now and he thinks I can be that guy. I certainly am not afraid of competition.' (Via Scout.com)
Martin does not yet have an offer on the table from the Razorbacks, but of course that will likely change within a month or two, once the visit takes place. He is a tough-nosed player, who has a high football IQ and could provide experience to a younger secondary in 2013.
Taylor Reed Transfers
photo via: blogs.orlandosentinel.com
Quarterback Taylor Reed decided to pick the Memphis Tigers in 2011, but has recently transferred to Arkansas, as that has always been his dream, being from El Dorado, AR.
'I think every kid in Arkansas grows up wanting to be a Razorback and I was no different.' Reed said. 'It didn’t work out for me out of high school, but I feel great about having a chance to join the program now. I’ll actually be up there for good starting this weekend.' (Via Scout.com)
Reed was the starter for the Tigers for majority of the year, throwing for 1,690 yards and 10 touchdowns, while limiting his interceptions to just four. He will redshirt this season and compete for the starting position during the 2013 season.
Torii Hunter Jr. Likes Arkansas
If the name Torri Hunter Jr. sounds familiar, it is because he is the son of Anaheim Angels and nine-time gold glove outfielder Torri Hunter. He is a 3-star wide receiver out of Proper, TX, and he can simply make plays with the football in his hands. He has terrific hands and runs great routes.
Much like his father, Hunter wants to play baseball as well, which may create a demanding schedule, but Arkansas is more than happy to allow him to do so.
'Arkansas is certainly high on my list because they have great football and baseball teams that finished in the top five nationally this season.' Hunter said. 'I could certainly see myself catching passes and playing center field as a Razorback.' (Via Scout.com)
Of course Hunter's father was a two-way athlete who also attended Arkansas. The 2013 recruit does have offers from schools like Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, among others, but things are looking good for the Razorbacks so far with this young man.