College football recruiting was brutal enough before the transfer portal and NIL. Coaches at Arkansas and elsewhere wrap up one signing day and soon after they are focused on the next class. And actually, they have already been studying that class while they were trying to sign the current one. A staff never gets ahead, and the two new factors just make it worse.
In one case, it seems like the Razorbacks may not be planning like they should. By now, Arkansas fans know who Kane Archer is. The Greenwood sophomore burst on the scene two years ago when he gained national attention for earning college scholarship offers.
His legend has only grown. He was the varsity back-up at the perennial power as a freshman and led the Bulldogs to an improbable comeback win over Fort Smith Northside when he entered the game late when starter Hunter Houston exited the game with an injury.
This year as the starter, he led Greenwood to an undefeated state championship and out-dueled Little Rock Christian four-star quarterback and Auburn signee Walker White not once, but twice. Archer completed 195 of 266 (73.3%) passes for 2,399 yards with 33 touchdowns. He also ran for 659 yards and 16 TDs on 103 carries.
So, Kane is everything everyone thought he would be and one of the top players in the nation in the 2026 class. He is set to be the best prep signal caller Arkansas has seen this side of Mitch Mustain. There will be a sweepstakes for him, and by all indications Hogs head coach Sam Pittman wants to win it.
The Other Archer Brother
However, curiously, there is one power play the Hogs could have already made that would go a step in the right direction of sealing a commitment from Kane Archer. It is signing his older brother, Cash. You haven’t heard of him? Well, you will. He was among the top defenders in Arkansas this season and was the 6A-West Conference Defensive Player of the Year (Kane was the offensive award winner). He was among the leaders in sacks coming off the edge, but can also play linebacker which he will switch to full-time next year.
At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, he’s a major problem for offensive coordinators with a combination of speed, power and intensity that allows him to get to the ball more times than not. He racked up 78 tackles, 28 TFL, 20 sacks, 38 QB hurries, 4 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, a blocked punt and a blocked field goal.
Unlike his younger brother, Cash hasn’t had the national exposure, but college coaches paid more attention this year when he earned a three-star rating from Rivals and was offered by SEC up-and-comer Ole Miss. He also holds offers from Arkansas State, New Mexico State, Toledo and Louisville.
But, alas, no Arkansas offer. If Pittman is as high on Kane as it appears, he should have offered Cash already. A package deal, even if one of the commodities is of lesser value, is worth it many times. How often do you have a chance to sign a QB with the potential of Kane’s? How will it look if you can’t sign a generational talent that resides 45 minutes from your campus?
It was bad enough that Arkansas never recruited Drake Lindsey, who was next door at Fayetteville High School, as he had one of the better seasons in school history and inked with the University of Minnesota. He is not as good as Kane, but still fans and media members wondered how a QB that was that close and had Razorback family ties didn’t even get an offer. Not getting Kane would be worse.
However, now Cash’s value has increased. There’s a good chance he will receive more Power Five offers after the spring evaluation period and summer camp circuits as well as next fall when he will most likely play more linebacker. He is a bona fide defensive standout that stands alone and deserves consideration from the Arkansas staff regardless of if his brother is a bluechip QB or not. But it’s a no-brainer now considering all factors.
Potential Advantage for Arkansas Football
A tour of their home reveals they are a Razorback household led by father, Adam. It appears that Cash would appreciate a Razorback offer even more than Kane has. If the Hogs offer Cash, he should commit. And that paves the way for Kane to follow. It also keeps the pipeline to football factory Greenwood rolling. Greenwood has been good to the Hogs with the likes of star QB Tyler Wilson and Drew and Grant Morgan, who stood out at receiver and linebacker, respectively. Speaking of Grant Morgan, Cash reminds me of him. A strong work ethic with relentless pursuit on the field. And Grant Morgan did that as a walk-on.
So, if all signs point to Arkansas having an advantage, is there a chance they don’t and does that mean that Kane isn’t a priority? It is true that the QB room is full at this time especially with the announcement of former Bryant star and current Arkansas baseball player Austin Ledbetter switching to football. However, Kane wouldn’t hit the field for three more seasons. Even with the commitment of CAC junior Grayson Wilson, the situation should be much different. The Hogs have an opportunity to have two bluechip QBs with Wilson and Kane. That would be a major luxury.
And maybe Pittman and Co. are worrying about other dilemmas right now such as assembling an offensive line next season that won’t be porous and pillaging the portal for other talented players to ensure Arkansas isn’t 4-8 again next season.
Still, good coaches and staffs can juggle many balls and focus on the task at hand while balancing the future. There is no doubt other programs are. That’s the way winning programs keep winning – not leaving a stone un-turned and making sure the top targets from each class are getting attention.
What Arkansas can ill afford to happen is losing both brothers. The longer Arkansas waits, the more time it gives other attractive Power Five programs to strike. What if the brothers decide together that a program they both have offers from is more attractive than Arkansas? Cash’s recruiting is only going to pick up and if programs such as Ole Miss that are more successful than Arkansas continue to offer, he may get tired of waiting.
Losing both brothers would be a bad look. Losing two in-state talents, who live in the same house? That’s painful and embarrassing.
With the 2024 class nearly sealed and delivered, Pittman needs to cast an eye on 2026. If he’s serious about Kane, he will offer Cash soon.
Ty Storey’s Advice for Kane Archer
Former Arkansas football quarterback Ty Storey has been where Archer is now. The former Charleston High star told Best of Arkansas Sports: “It was a great experience to be highly recruited. It always feels good to be wanted. I was always a really laid back person and never really wanted to be in the spotlight so that was a bit different for me. You see the kids now all wanting to go get their pictures made with smoke and lights. That was never me.”
Kane Archer of Greenwood is a quarterback that is already drawing comparisons to Storey and other top signal callers from the state. Greenwood is less than 14 miles from Charleston and both prep programs have enjoyed a multitude of success in the last two decades.
Storey offers the rising sophomore and others in his situation advice you can read at the bottom of this article:
See the latest on Arkansas football recruiting here:
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