Arkansas Football: Everything You Need to Know for National Signing Day
The Arkansas Razorbacks are having another solid year on the recruiting trail. Though head coach Bret Bielema's class is not elite, he is slowly getting the type of players who are going to fit his system.
There are a lot of areas that need improvement, and the Hogs are looking to start by signing players who can come in and help them in weaker areas. With national signing day quickly approaching, Bielema is still looking to add some more highly touted recruits who will put an exclamation mark on the 2014 class.
Here's everything you need to know for national signing day for the Hogs, including top remaining prospects, current commits, players who could immediately make an impact, storylines to watch and some fun facts.
All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.
Top Remaining Prospects
Kendrick Edwards, WR; 6'6", 205 pounds; Miami, Fla. (Norland)
Cornelius Floyd, CB; 6'1", 190 pounds; Miami, Fla. (Gulliver Prep)
Demetrius Jackson, DE; 6'4", 220 pounds; Miami, Fla. (Booker T. Washington)
Randy Ramsey, LB; 6'2", 205 pounds; Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Dillard)
In case you didn't notice, all of these guys hail from the Sunshine State, which speaks volumes to the impact linebackers coach Randy Shannon, who has strong ties to the state and was the head coach at Miami, has had in recruiting.
All of them fit what Bielema is looking for, and landing at least two of these recruits would be a big win for the Hogs.
Edwards is a receiver who would give whoever wins the quarterback job a big target to throw to. Arkansas hasn't had a wideout of his physical stature since Marcus Monk, and with some fine-tuning, Edwards could be a big-time receiver for the Razorbacks.
The Hogs need a lot of help at both the linebacker and cornerback positions, so getting Floyd and Ramsey are top priorities.
Floyd is big for a corner and is physical against receivers, something Arkansas needs in its defensive backs. Ramsey has good athleticism and speed and would be a nice addition to the already three signed linebackers for the 2014 class. He has to improve upon his skill set, but the Hogs need all the depth they can get at the position.
Jackson has the skills to replace the departed Chris Smith at defensive end. Though he's committed to Miami, Arkansas is still firmly in the mix. His cousin, Denver Kirkland, signed with the Hogs last national signing day, and Richard Davenport of WholeHogSports.com reported that Kirkland is doing his best to get Jackson on The Hill.
Jared Cornelius, WR; 6'0", 175 pounds; Evangel Christian Academy, La.; 3 stars
Juan Day, RB; 6'1", 210 pounds; North Little Rock High, Ark.; 3 stars
Dwayne Eugene, LB (Played S in high school); 6'1", 222 pounds; Archbishop Rummel High, La.; 3 stars
Khalia Hackett, LB (Played S in high school); 6'3", 205 pounds; South Paulding High, Ga.; 3 stars
Jake Hall, DE; 6'5", 235 pounds; Springdale Har-Ber High, Ark.; 3 stars
Cole Hedlund, K; 5'10", 170 pounds; Argyle High, Texas; 3 stars
Cody Hollister, WR; 6'4", 205 pounds; Arizona Western C.C., Ariz.; 2 stars
Bijhon Jackson, DT; 6'1", 334 pounds; El Dorado High, Ark.; 4 stars
Jack Kraus, TE; 6'5", 240 pounds; Bentonville High, Ark.; 3 stars
Corey McBride, WR; 6'0", 175 pounds; Dutchtown High, La.; 3 stars
Torrance Mosley, WR; 5'10", 165 pounds; Dutchtown High, La.; 3 stars
Chris Murphy, CB; 5'10", 178 pounds; Lassiter High, La.; 3 stars
Rafe Peavey, QB; 6'2", 212 pounds; Bolivar High, Mo.; 4 stars
Ravian Pierce, TE; 6'4", 215 pounds; Plantation High, Fla.; 3 stars
Jovan Pruitt, OT; 6'6", 290 pounds; Bishop Dunne Catholic High, Texas; 3 stars
Santos Ramirez, S; 6'2", 180 pounds; Evangel Christian Academy, La.; 3 stars
Henre' Toliver, CB; 6'1", 165 pounds; Archbishop Rummel High, La.; 4 stars
Sebastian Tretola, OT; 6'5", 315 pounds; Iowa Western C.C., Iowa; 4 stars
Brian Wallace, OT; 6'6", 305 pounds; Christian Brothers College High, Mo.; 4 stars
Armon Watts, DT; 6'4", 260 pounds; Christian Brothers College High, Mo.; 3 stars
Players Who Could Contribute as Freshmen
The recruit who could make the biggest impact in his freshman year is quarterback Rafe Peavey.
Brandon Allen, the starter for 2013, ended the season on a positive note. Overall, though, he wasn't effective, struggling all year with his accuracy and decision making.
Peavey has an excellent pocket presence and is very accurate. He also has the ability to tuck the ball and pick up yards, something Allen can't do. Bielema knows that if the Hogs are going to start winning games, they have to have a quarterback who is going to make good decisions, be a leader and move the ball down the field. Keep an eye on the quarterback battle throughout the offseason.
Expect defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson to come in and play a key role from the start. His motor is always running, and he has great strength. Jackson's best attributes are his explosiveness and quick first step, both of which are important skills for a D-lineman.
Two other guys who can have immediate impacts for the Hogs are offensive tackle Brian Wallace and cornerback Henre' Toliver.
Wallace fits the mold of a lineman on a Bielema-coached team. He has a huge frame and, more importantly, is good at both pass and run blocking. The secondary is ailing, and Toliver has the skills to step in and provide help. He needs to bulk up some, but he is fast and good at man coverage, which was a huge problem for Arkansas in 2013.
Don't be surprised if any one of these guys starts as a freshman.
Storylines to Watch
Demetrius Jackson decommitted then recommitted to Miami on Dec. 9, and Arkansas has been making a very strong push for the defensive end.
As stated, current Hog Kirkland is his cousin and is doing all he can to convince Jackson to join him in Fayetteville. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but there's no doubt that Arkansas has a chance to flip him come Feb. 5.
Another Miami commit to follow is linebacker Mike Smith. He committed to the Canes back in June, but he's taking official visits and will be on The Hill Jan. 24 in what will be a huge recruiting weekend for the Hogs. If Arkansas blows him away, things could get interesting.
1. Wideout commit Jared Cornelius briefly decommitted from the Hogs and committed to TCU on Dec. 13 after concerns over how much the Razorbacks were passing, per Otis Kirk of Hawgs247. After talking with Bielema and Peavey, he flipped back to Arkansas on Dec. 18 and enrolled on Jan. 13.
2. Out of the Hogs' 20 commits, 16 are from other states. Arkansas has commits from eight different states.
3. Peavey and Jackson were the first two commits for the 2014 class and never wavered on their pledges.
Bryan Heater is the featured columnist for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team. Follow him on Twitter @BHeaterRivals.