Recruiting is a year-round blitz, and Sam Pittman and the rest of the Arkansas football staff will not rest on their laurels anytime soon on that front.
The 2023 class has essentially been put to bed, but the 2024 and 2025 classes are heating up.
Trying to Pick Off an Alabama Football Legacy
Last Monday, the son of a former thorn in Arkansas’ side tweeted that he received an offer from the Razorbacks.
Dre Kirkpatrick played for Alabama from 2009-11, earning second-team all-SEC honors in 2010 and 2011 before being selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Arkansas football fans likely remember him for his game-sealing interception of Ryan Mallett in the infamous 2010 meeting between the No. 1 Tide and the No. 10 Razorbacks in front of 76,808 people, still the record for a game in Fayetteville.
Trailing 24-20 with just under two minutes to go, Mallett avoided a sack and was trying to throw the ball away, but put too much under it and Kirkpatrick was able to secure the ball and keep both feet in.
The loss was one of only three on the year for the Razorbacks, who would lose to Auburn a few weeks later and then in the Sugar Bowl to Ohio State. Alabama, meanwhile, ended up losing the Iron Bowl to Auburn and the Tigers won the BCS national championship with Cam Newton, who won the Heisman Trophy.
Kirkpatrick’s son, a 6-foot, 192-pound prospect, is finishing his junior year at Gadsden City High School, the same school where his father starred 15 years ago as a five-star recruit and became one of the first crown jewels that Nick Saban signed when he began his current dynasty.
Perhaps you’re wondering how he already has a son old enough to almost graduate high school? Well, he apparently must’ve had him at age 15 or 16 while a prep sensation.
Kirkpatrick Jr. is a three-star prospect on 247Sports, Rivals and On3 with offers from schools such as Auburn, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Missouri, Purdue, South Carolina, Troy and UAB.
Alabama hasn’t offered yet, but it’s expected that Saban will likely do that soon. It would be another opportunity for the Arkansas football coaching staff to get a recruiting victory over Saban, and this time it would be a legacy.
Kane Archer Continues to Impress
Class of 2026 quarterback prospect Kane Archer of Greenwood High is bound to turn heads since he ranked as one of his class’ top pro-style quarterbacks in the nation. Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos went and checked him out on Monday when he had a workout on the Smith-Robinson Stadium turf.
Archer, who will be a sophomore for the Bulldogs in 2023, holds offers from Arizona, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Toledo and UNLV.
His freshman campaign saw him complete 53 of 87 passes and throw nine touchdowns versus only three interceptions in backing up Hunter Houston. He also ran for 124 yards and four touchdowns.
The 6-foot-1, 201-pounder would join Tyler Wilson and Connor Noland as former Greenwood standout signal callers to suit up for the Razorbacks if he ultimately chooses them.
So You’re Saying There’s a Chance
Five-star defensive lineman Williams Nwaneri is down to 10 schools. Arkansas made the cut, along with Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon and Tennessee.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder who hails from Lee’s Summit, Mo., is the No. 2 player in the 2024 class and the top-rated defensive lineman, according to On3. So far, it looks like Oklahoma may hold an upper hand because his former teammate plays for the Sooners. Missouri hasn’t produced a player of this caliber since Dorial Green-Beckham suited up for Springfield Hillcrest and his decision came down to Missouri or Arkansas during a recruiting process that saw Bobby Petrino get into a bit of hot water.
Petrino, then the Arkansas football coach, might have made contact with Dorial Green-Beckham in San Antonio outside of an NCAA-sanctioned recruiting window. At the time, Petrino was attending a coaching convention and Green-Beckham was playing in the Army All-American Game. “It’s not clear when exactly the contact occurred — it was either during a ‘dead’ or ‘quiet’ period that forbids in-person contact — but [Green-Beckham’s dad] did say that another school recruiting DGB reported the situation to the NCAA,” Burnt Orange Nation’s Wescott Eberts wrote.
Petrino had scheduled an in-home visit to the star recruit, but this purported violation apparently prompted DGB’s father to cancel that visit in the days following the incident.
Dorial Green-Beckham ultimately chose the Tigers.
At the time, Arkansas fans were bummed that they didn’t secure DGB’s services, but he eventually flamed out at Missouri and then ran into trouble with the law and transferred to Oklahoma before declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft.
Other Arkansas Recruiting Nuggets
- In basketball, Little Rock Parkview standout Dallas Thomas recently included Arkansas in his top five on Twitter. Thomas is a four-star prospect who ranks 57th nationally and the ninth-best power forward in America, along with being the second best player in Arkansas according to 247Sports. Arkansas was joined by Clemson, LSU, Memphis and Missouri. His decision is expected later this year.
- Late Tuesday night, Jackson Collier of HawgBeat had an exclusive with 4-star point guard Jase Richardson, a top-50 player in America according to Rivals and the son of former Michigan State great Jason Richardson. He narrowed down his list to 8 schools. The two SEC programs are Arkansas and Alabama
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