The 3 Recruits Who Will Make or Break Arkansas' National Signing Day
The Arkansas Razorbacks had a big weekend for recruiting, hosting a number of highly sought prospects and securing a few commitments.
Three-star recruits Kendrick Edwards (WR), Cornelius Floyd (CB) and Randy Ramsey (LB) picked Arkansas after their visits, giving the Hogs a total of 23 commits for the 2014 class. However, there's still a number of prospects whose decisions Arkansas is waiting upon until national signing day arrives on February 5.
Here, we take a look at the three recruits who will make or break the Hogs' national signing day in 2014. These five prospects could make this class great by choosing Arkansas, or make it just another good one that falls towards the bottom of the SEC.
OT Andrew Mike
One of the top remaining offensive line prospects on the board for the Hogs is 3-star offensive tackle Andrew Mike.
Mike is a monster of a man, standing at 6'7" and weighing in at 270 pounds, which made him a dominant force against smaller and less-talented D-linemen in high school. However, to become a dominant force at the next level, he must get better with his footwork, quickness off the snap and especially pass-blocking.
He is not very athletic and his lack of quickness off the snap on passing plays allows defenders to get past him and into the backfield. Working with an O-line coach as respected as Sam Pittman could very well make Mike an All-SEC caliber player.
It appears as though Mike wants to play in the SEC, meaning it will come down to the Hogs and Florida. His 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions have 69 percent saying he will pick the Gators and 15 percent for Arkansas.
Bielema and co. are hoping his official visit to Fayetteville on Jan. 17 sticks out more than his visit to Gainesville this past weekend. Landing Mike would give the Hogs a great group of O-linemen for the 2014 class.
OT Frank Ragnow
Along with Mike, 4-star offensive tackle Frank Ragnow is a highly sought after O-line prospect for Arkansas. Even if the Hogs missed out on Mike, landing Ragnow would pretty much make up for it.
HawgSports' Big Red Board (subscription required) reports that he will be making his decision this Friday at 3:15 p.m. and that it appears to be a coin flip between the Hogs and home-state Minnesota. Richard Davenport of WholeHogSports wrote back in November that Ragnow rated his visit to The Hill as "Awesome."
At 6'6", 291 pounds, Ragnow has a great frame and is an advanced run blocker, but like Mike, can stand to improve his pass-blocking. He has the skills to be an impact player in his first year and Pittman's coaching could turn him into another big-time anchor on the O-line for the Razorbacks.
DE Solomon Thomas
There's no doubt that the biggest recruit remaining on the board for the Hogs is 4-star defensive end Solomon Thomas.
Danny West of HawgSports (subscription required) reported that Thomas was impressed by his visit last weekend. Their Big Red Board also says that "Arkansas appears to be in great shape" when he makes his decision on Feb. 5.
Thomas is great at the point of attack and at using his hands to get by O-linemen and to the quarterback. He does need to work on his first step and pursuit, but he undoubtedly would be a huge get for the Razorbacks.
Stanford has been thought to be leading for his services for some time and 80 percent have him choosing Stanford on his Crystal Ball Predictions. However, the Hogs have continued to up their chances of landing Thomas and have family ties to him, as he has a sister that attends Arkansas and his dad does business in the area.
After Stanford appeared to be the clear-cut favorite, Arkansas has made a huge push and could very well win his services come national signing day.
All prospect info courtesy of 247Sports.com.
Bryan Heater is the featured columnist for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Follow him on Twitter @BHeaterRivals.
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