In-State Standout, Massive OL Among Arkansas’ 7 Official Visitors This Weekend

Jac'Qawn McRoy, Arkansas football, Arkansas recruiting
photo credit: Twitter/@5star_shaq

When the calendar flipped to June, things really started picking up for Arkansas recruiting.

After hosting a pair of visitors last weekend — one of which committed to the 2023 class — the Razorbacks are believed to have seven 2024 prospects in town for official visits beginning Friday.

The seven players come from six different states and all but one of them are from the SEC footprint. Five of the visitors are rated as four-star recruits by at least one of the major services, so it could be a big weekend for an Arkansas football team looking to build upon an already impressive 2024 class.

Here’s a quick overview of this weekend’s visitors for Arkansas football…

Arkansas Football Official Visitors (June 9-11)

LB Jordan Burns — Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)

247Sports: 3-star (89 grade) | ESPN: N/A | On3: 3-star (89 grade) | Rivals: 4-star (5.8 rating)
247Sports Composite: 4-star (0.8933), No. 391 overall, No. 34 LB
On3 Consensus: 4-star (89.22), No. 378 overall, No. 37 LB

Since leaving the state to become the Arkansas football coach, Sam Pittman significantly improved the Razorbacks’ recruiting efforts in the state of Georgia. According to Otis Kirk, the latest official visitor from the Peach State is Jordan Burns, who was also on campus back in March.

Pittman is intimately familiar with Pace Academy because that’s where he landed future NFL Draft picks Andrew Thomas and Jamaree Salyer from as the offensive line coach at Georgia.

This is the second official visit of the month for Burns (6-2, 217), as he was at Vanderbilt last weekend. He’ll head to Tennessee next weekend. Other offers include Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, USC and several other Power Five programs.

In addition to playing linebacker, Burns also plays some running back in high school and also competes in the 300-meter hurdles in track.

TE Decker DeGraaf — Glendora (Calif.)

247Sports: 3-star (88 grade) | ESPN: NR | On3: 3-star (87 grade) | Rivals: 3-star (5.5 rating)
247Sports Composite: 3-star (0.8750), No. 676 overall, No. 34 TE
On3 Consensus: 3-star (85.83), No. 967 overall, No. 49 TE

California isn’t normally part of the Arkansas recruiting footprint, but new tight ends coach Morgan Turner did just spend the past 13 seasons at Stanford, so that likely helped him become aware of Decker DeGraaf.

Although he’s a mid- or high-three-star recruit on all of the services, DeGraaf (6-5, 230) has an impressive offer sheet that extends coast-to-coast. A lot of Pac-12 schools are after him, but so are schools from the Big 12 (Houston), ACC (Boston College and Miami, Fla.), Big Ten (Michigan State) and SEC (Arkansas).

DeGraaf’s first official visit was to Utah last weekend. Following his trip to Fayetteville, he’ll head north to Michigan State next weekend. He’s also visited numerous Pac-12 schools, including Washington for its spring game.

Missing part of the 2022 season because of transfer rules (he previously played at San Dimas, Calif.), DeGraaf played in only five games, but was still productive, catching 23 passes for 378 yards and five touchdowns.

LB Brian Huff — Valley View (Jonesboro, Ark.)

247Sports: 3-star (88 grade) | ESPN: NR | On3: 4-star (92 grade) | Rivals: 4-star (5.8 rating)
247Sports Composite: 4-star (0.9069), No. 277 overall, No. 25 LB
On3 Consensus: 4-star (90.32), No. 275 overall, No. 29 LB

The Razorbacks hosted one top uncommitted in-state prospect last week in Bentonville’ CJ Brown and will host another this weekend, as Brian Huff will make his way from the northeast to the northwest corner of the state for his official visit.

His very first Division I offer came from Arkansas football last January and he has since blown up on the recruiting trail, picking up offers from the likes of LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, among others.

While this will be his official visit, Huff has been to Fayetteville several times previously, including for a couple of games last fall. He’s also made trips all over the south, to places like Florida, Florida State, LSU, Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Ole Miss.

Last week, Huff was in Orlando for an official visit with Gus Malzahn and UCF. In a couple of weeks, he’ll head north to Missouri for an official visit.

As a junior in 2022, Huff racked up 92 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one blocked kick while helping Valley View to a 9-3 record.

DL Kendall Jackson — Buchholz (Gainesville, Fla.)

247Sports: 3-star (89 grade) | ESPN: NR | On3: 4-star (90 grade) | Rivals: 3-star (5.6 rating)
247Sports Composite: 3-star (0.8819), No. 568 overall, No. 55 DL
On3 Consensus: 3-star (88.39), No. 511 overall, No. 42 DL

As if the Razorbacks didn’t already have the odds stacked against them by trying to go into Florida’s backyard and swipe a recruit from the Gators, they got into the race for Kendall Jackson late.

The Gainesville, Fla., native released a top six list back on April 10 and didn’t include Arkansas. Instead, it featured four other SEC programs (Ole Miss, Kentucky, Florida and Mississippi State), a future SEC program (Texas) and another in-state program (Miami, Fla.).

Of course, at the time, he hadn’t yet been offered by the Razorbacks. That didn’t happen until May 29. Now, just a couple weeks later, he’ll be in Fayetteville for an official visit, so Arkansas has apparently made up quite a bit of ground.

Jackson (6-4, 250) has already taken an official visit to Florida, plus has trips to Kentucky and Miami (Fla.) on the books.

He put up huge numbers as a junior last season, racking up 65 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and 60 hurries.

ATH Ahkhari Johnson — Pleasant Grove (Texarkana, Texas)

247Sports: 3-star (86 grade) | ESPN: N/A | On3: 3-star (88 grade) | Rivals: 3-star (5.7 rating)
247Sports Composite: 3-star (0.8726), No. 736 overall, No. 76 ATH
On3 Consensus: 3-star (87.44), No. 677 overall, No. 34 ATH

A quarterback at Pleasant Grove, which is on the Texas side of Texarkana and where current defensive end Landon Jackson went, Ahkhari Johnson is listed as a wide receiver on 247Sports, but considering he tagged Marcus Woodson and Deron Wilson in his visit tweet, it’s a good bet he’s being recruited as a defensive back.

While the Razorbacks are looking at him on the defensive side of the ball, he did put up some impressive numbers on offense. He completed 86 of 170 passes for 1,710 yards, 21 touchdowns and only four interceptions, plus added another 856 yards and 12 touchdowns on 117 carries, earning him District 7-4A Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors.

According to his 247Sports page, Johnson (5-11, 180) will be officially visiting TCU next weekend. This will be at least his second trip to Fayetteville, as he was in town for an unofficial visit in March.

His other Power Five offers include Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Stanford and TCU, among several others.

OL Jac’Qawn McRoy — Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.)

247Sports: 4-star (94 grade) | ESPN: 4-star (85 grade) | On3: 3-star (89 grade) | Rivals: 3-star (5.7)
247Sports Composite: 4-star (0.9313), No. 169 overall, No. 12 OT
On3 Consensus: 4-star (91.60), No. 183 overall, No. 15 OT

Depending where you look, Jac’Qawn McRoy is one of the best offensive tackles in the 2024 class. He’s ranked 57th and 60th overall by ESPN and 247Sports, respectively, and is a behemoth of a lineman, checking in at 6-foot-8, 365 pounds.

He is just the latest example of Arkansas’ push into Alabama, which has produced several highly rated signees and commitments fo the Razorbacks in recent years. In fact, McRoy plays in the same conference and town as Pinson Valley, the school that produced 2023 signee TJ Metcalf.

Ole Miss was McRoy’s first official visit last week, visiting alongside Fort Smith Southside lineman and fellow Arkansas target Kobe Branham. The Rebels and Razorbacks make up two of his top 10 schools released back in February, with the others being Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Tennessee and Oregon. That means eight of his top 10 options are in the SEC.

This will be at least his second trip to Fayetteville, as he was also here last summer, when he picked up the offer from Arkansas.

RB Nate Palmer — Decatur (Texas)

247Sports: 3-star (88 grade) | ESPN: 4-star (80 grade) | On3: 4-star (90 grade) | Rivals: 3-star (5.7 rating)
247Sports Composite: 4-star (0.8933), No. 401 overall, No. 35 RB
On3 Consensus: 4-star (89.03), No. 395 overall, No. 33 RB

After attending Junior Day back in January, Nate Palmer pledged that he “definitely will be back.” He’s staying true to his word by taking an official visit this weekend.

Running backs coach Jimmy Smith has done a great job of recruiting his position and Palmer (5-11, 185) would be another big-time get for him and the Razorbacks, as he’s a four-star recruit in the 247Sports Composite.

Arkansas is one of what will likely be four official visits for Palmer this June. He’s already visited TCU and has plans to visit North Carolina, USC and Duke. His 40-plus offers also include Auburn, Florida State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and many other Power Five programs.

As a junior, Palmer helped Decatur reach the semifinals of the Texas 4A-DI playoffs by racking up 2,704 all-purpose yards and 34 touchdowns — with the biggest chunk of that (2,250 yards, 25 TD) coming on the ground. That followed a sophomore season in which he was named the District 8-5A DI Co-Offensive Newcomer of the Year after leading College Station, Texas, to the Class 5A-DI title game.

Previous Arkansas Football Visitors in June 2023

Weekend of June 2-4

  • WR CJ Brown – Bentonville (Ark.)
  • WR Dazmin James – Clayton (N.C.) — 2023 recruit

Arkansas Football Commits in Class of 2024


More coverage of Arkansas football and Arkansas recruiting from BoAS…

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