Arkansas Football Recruiting: Updates, 18 Top Recruits Visited This Weekend

Ryan Wright@@HogManInLAAnalyst IIIJanuary 23, 2012

Petrino rides the momentum of Arkansas' Cotton Bowl win.
Petrino rides the momentum of Arkansas' Cotton Bowl win.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Arkansas Razorbacks had perhaps their most impressive list of official visitors during the Bobby Petrino era when the Hogs hosted 17 top high school seniors and one junior college player over the weekend.

Springfield, Mo. wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and Spring, Texas running back Trey Williams were two of the four 5-star recruits among the official visitors the Hogs hosted. Green-Beckham and Williams are considered Top 15 players in the nation, per

Green-Beckham, widely considered the top recruit in the 2012 class, has not made a verbal commitment to date. Williams is considered a solid Texas A&M commitment.

Offensive tackle Jordan Diamond from Simeon Vocational High School in Chicago was another 5-star that visited the Hill. Diamond has offers from seemingly every Division 1-A school possible, including Alabama, Illinois, Oregon, Miami, Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State and Notre Dame, along with one from the Razorbacks.

Diamond has taken official visits to Auburn, Ohio State and Michigan. He is scheduled to visit Wisconsin next weekend.

Athlete Davonte Neal from Scottsdale, Ariz. was another 5-star on campus. According to, Neal is the eighth-best player in the nation. Neal’s offer list is a “who's who” list of top programs. Among the schools to offer are LSU, USC, Auburn, Florida State, UCLA and North Carolina.

Neal has taken official visits to Notre Dame and Ohio State and will receive in-home visits from both schools on Thursday. He is scheduled to take an official visit to North Carolina this weekend and Arizona on Feb. 10, 10 days after signing day.

Will the Hogs hold a scholarship spot open for him 10 days after LOI Day?

The weekend was complete for the recruits with a visit to the Catfish Hole for dinner on Saturday night instead of the usual Friday night to accommodate for late arrivals, watching the Hogs beat No. 20 University of Michigan 66-64 and the traditional Arkansas pre-game experience for the recruits at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

No players officially verbally committed over the weekend.

Official visits this weekend

(Position, Player, Ranking, Location, Commitment)

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, 5-star, Springfield, Mo., not committed

RB Trey Williams, 5-star, committed to Texas A&M

WR Davonte Neal, 5-star, Scottsdale, Ariz., not committed

OT Jordan Diamond, 5-star, Chicago, not committed

OL Jeremy Ward, 4-star, Pottsville, Ark., committed to Arkansas

LB A.J. Turner, 4-star, Lepanto, Ark., committed to Arkansas

LB Dalton Santos, 3-star, Van, Texas, committed to Tennessee

RB Donovan Roberts, 3-star, Norman, Okla., committed to Arkansas

LB Kenny Orjioke, 3-star, Marietta, Ga., committed to UCLA

CB Gary Simon, 3-star, St. Petersburg, Fla., not committed

OG/TE Joey Warburg, 3-star, Louisville, Ky., committed to Illinois

WR *Demetrius Wilson, 3-star, Glendale, Ariz., not committed

OG Cordale Boyd, 3-star, Memphis, Tenn., committed to Arkansas

DE Jeremy Sprinkle, 3-star, White Hall, Ark., committed to Arkansas

ATH Nathan Holmes, 3-star, Port Arthur, Texas, committed to Arkansas

FS Defonta Lowe, 3-star, Bearden, Ark., committed to Arkansas

WR Keon Hatcher, 3-star, Owasso, Okla., committed to Arkansas

WR D’Arthur Cowan, 3-star, Olive Branch, Miss., committed to Arkansas

*denotes junior college player

Possible official visits that did not visit

WR Bralon Addison, 4-star, Sugar Land, Texas, committed to Texas A&M

DE Darius English, 3-star, Powder Springs, Ga., committed to South Carolina

OL Germain Ifedi, 3-star, Houston, committed to Texas A&M

DT Tyler Nero, 3-star, Atmore, Ala., committed to Auburn

TE Sean Price, 4-star, Citra, Fla., committed to South Florida

Tyler Nero may visit this upcoming weekend. Nero is the son of former Arkansas Razorback player Norman Nero.

Possible official visits for weekend of Jan. 27

ATH Edward Pope, 2-star, Carthage, Texas, committed to TCU

OLB Jakarri, Thomas, 2-star, Tallahassee, Fla., committed to Arkansas

DB John Gibson, 3-star, Missouri City, Texas, committed to Arkansas

DE Brandon Lewis, 3-star, Memphis, Tenn., committed to Arkansas

CB Jared Collins, 3-star, Tulsa, Okla., committed to Arkansas

Collins, Lewis, Gibson and Thomas have all verbally committed to Arkansas but have not officially visited.

Recruiting updates

Beau Hankins, a 3-star linebacker from Birmingham, Ala., was offered by Penn State last week. Hankins has taken official visits to Arkansas and Florida International and went to University of Central Florida during this past weekend with best friend Harding Harper, a 3-star linebacker.

Arkansas is thought to be leading for Hankins' signature on National Signing Day. No word how Penn State’s offer may affect his decision.

Another Missouri commitment de-commits then recommits somewhere else

Will Hines, a 3-star cornerback from Waco, Texas, verbally committed to the Hogs after his visit to Arkansas over the weekend of Jan. 13. The No. 35-ranked cornerback in the nation will join one of his best friends, running back Jonathan Williams, at Arkansas for the 2012 season.  

Hines and Williams were both previously verbally committed to Missouri.

Whatever happened to…

Former Arkansas commitment defensive tackle Mike Pennel (6’5”, 340 pounds, Scottsdale Junior College) took a recruiting visit to Kansas State this past weekend. He visited Hawaii the weekend of Jan. 13.

Pennel has used four of his five official visits (Arkansas, Texas A&M, Hawaii, Kansas State) and remains uncommitted.

When just one in-home visit won’t do

Linebacker Reggie Northrup had an in-home visit from defensive coordinator Paul Haynes and receivers coach Kris Cinkovich on Monday, Jan. 23. He will receive another in-home visit from new linebackers coach Taver Johnson this week.

Northrup was committed to Miami but has reopened his recruiting due to the NCAA investigation into Miami’s program. He visited Arkansas for its home game against Tennessee in November. He visited Florida State this past weekend and is scheduled to visit Ohio State this weekend.

Another possible verbal commitment

Vin Ascolese, 3-star linebacker from North Bergen, N.J., let it be known on Twitter that he will announce his decision publicly at his high school on Jan. 25. Ascolese visited Illinois this past weekend after visiting the Hogs the prior weekend.

Ascolese is a Parade All-American.

Still solid?

Razorback commitment Courtney Garner, a 4-star junior college wide receiver from Sierra Community College in California, was supposed to visit Florida State this past weekend but did not go. Garner is scheduled to visit Oklahoma this weekend.

When a commitment continues to take visits there is always a chance that recruit may flip. Razorback fans have their fingers crossed that Garner will stay a solid commitment. He is the No. 12-ranked junior college player in the nation, per

The 2013 class

North Little Rock junior running back Altee Tenpenny (5’11”, 200 pounds) was visited by Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino and running back coach Tim Horton on Tuesday. Also visiting Tenpenny on Tuesday was the new head coach for Arkansas State, Gus Malzahn.

Tenpenny reports offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Ole Miss and Auburn, among others.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban visited Tenpenny on Wednesday.

Remember me before you go

University of Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel tried to make a lasting impression on Dorial Green-Beckham before his visit to Arkansas. In an effort to one-up Bobby Petrino’s visit to DGB at school earlier in the day on Wednesday, Pinkel landed on the school’s Birmingham Field at the end of the school day to visit with the top recruit.

Speculation has Green-Beckham’s schools narrowed down to Arkansas and Texas with an outside chance of Missouri winning his signature. DGB has not made an official announcement to date. 


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