Hogs Have Their Man at LR Parkview to Help Sway Patriots’ Dynamic Duo

Monterrio Elston, Omarion Robinson, Little Rock Parkview, Arkansas football, Arkansas recruiting
photo credit: Jaison Sterling (Rock Town Media)

Little Rock Parkview was one of Arkansas’ premier high school football programs in the 1970s and ‘80s. It took some time, but the back-to-back defending Class 5A champions are right back at the top again.

Not only have they dominated on the field as winners of 25 consecutive contests dating back to early 2022, the Patriots have churned out one college signee after another to multiple high-level programs – and several more are in the pipeline.

“There was about a week and a half recently where I had to set up times [to meet] because there were so many coaches, Parkview football coach Brad Bolding recently told Best of Arkansas Sports. “It got to where they were stacked up outside of my office so I had to start doing what a lot of schools in Texas do and set up times.”

Five current Patriots possess an offer from the home state Razorbacks: seniors Monterrio Elston, Omarion Robinson, Cam Settles and Quentin Murphy, plus junior Jakore Smith.

Murphy committed to Arkansas on June 1 and the other three 2025 prospects – all of whom have the Razorbacks among their finalists – are set to announce their decisions in the coming weeks. To no surprise, he has been Arkansas’ biggest recruiter in trying to get his teammates to join him on The Hill.

“He’s at us every day about committing to Arkansas,” Robinson said. “He made a post the other day when we had dropped our commitment date and mentioned that we better go there if we want to get the ball this year.”

With Murphy’s decision made, Elston and Robinson are the next two who will announce their decision at 4 p.m. CT Saturday at Parkview High School, as the Razorbacks look to ride the wave of Tavion Wallace’s commitment earlier in the week.

Settles will follow suit on Aug. 3, choosing from a top six that includes Arkansas, Arkansas State, Memphis, Missouri, Tulsa and Yale. 

Both Elston and Robinson included Arkansas when they narrowed down their final three choices, but, while anything can happen, there has not been much hope that the Hogs will secure the much-desired duo.

Following a performance at the Rivals Five-Star camp in Florida last weekend in which he was named the Defensive Back MVP, On3 Director of Recruiting Chad Simmons predicted Robinson would pick Oklahoma.

While Robinson acknowledged the love he has gotten from the hometown Razorbacks, as well as being intrigued by the opportunity to play some on offense, and also formed a great relationship with Oregon co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Chris Hampton, Robinson mentioned something about Oklahoma that he did not about the other two.

“They are building something special over there at Oklahoma,” Robinson said in an exclusive interview with Best of Arkansas Sports. “Coach [Brandon] Hall has been recruiting and reaching out to me since ninth grade. Most college coaches just offer you in ninth grade, then wait a couple of years, so that means a lot.”

Elston has been pretty quiet throughout his recruiting process, but it was reported in June that he was “focusing on” Arkansas and Kansas State. He confirmed with Best of Arkansas Sports that those are his final two choices. On3 predicts it is a 98.2% chance that Elston picks the Wildcats, where the undersized speedster expects to play a role similar to current Dallas Cowboy Deuce Vaughn’s role from 2020-22. 

If Elston and Robinson end up somewhere other than Fayetteville, the uphill climb on the recruiting trail for Arkansas – particularly when it comes to landing in-state talent – will continue to get steeper.

Shaky Trend For Arkansas’ In-State Recruiting

In the big picture, Arkansas has had glaring recruiting inconsistency in the past two classes. Top 2024 prospects Walker White and Courtney Crutchfiled each ended up at other SEC programs and, most recently, 2026 offensive linemen Bear McWhorter announced he was backing off of his pledge to the Hogs despite making it publicly known where he wanted to go at age 13. 

For 2025, Arkansas currently has commitments from Conway quarterback Grayson Wilson, Warren’s Antonio Jordan and the aforementioned Murphy, each of whom are ranked as Top 5 in-state prospects by ESPN and 247Sports. 

Bolding has been known for sending players to top-tier programs even dating back to his time at North Little Rock from 2007-15, but has seen an uptick in talent not only within his program, but statewide. 

“You have really seen the talent in basketball, which is really kind of crazy that this little ole state is producing those types of players,” Bolding said. “[Arkansas] is also starting to really produce some really good football players, and in a lot of places. I think coaches are doing a lot better job with their offseason programs and things like that.”

Marion offensive lineman Carius Curne, who is rated as the top 2025 player in Arkansas by three of the four major outlets, was once committed to Arkansas before rescinding and flipping to former Hogs offensive line coach Brad Davis and LSU. 

Like Curne, Bauxite safety Marcus Wimberly originally committed to Arkansas, but has since flipped to Oklahoma. The four-star recruit is rated as high as No. 2 overall in Arkansas by On3 and has made it very clear that he wants Robinson to join him in the Sooners’ secondary. 

“Marcus and I have a good little bond,” Robinson said. “He is always reaching out to see how I am doing, how my family is doing, and how he wants me to come be a part of The Brotherhood over there [at Oklahoma].” 

Double Arkansas Football Targets

Omarion Robinson has been a walking highlight reel for Parkview since he stepped on campus and was tabbed as a Freshman All-American by MaxPreps. Robinson cut his college choices down to five in March, but has since cut Georgia and LSU to leave a final three of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Oregon.

As a junior last fall, Robinson logged 42 tackles, broke up 10 passes, forced two fumbles and nabbed two interceptions, but those numbers hardly scratch the surface. 

“He is our [field goal] holder, he averages 39 yards per punt, he’s a straight to the ball guy on kickoff, [plays on] kickoff return, punt return, slot receiver, quarterback, running back, defensive back, inside linebacker and corner,” Bolding said. “He can play every single position and be the best at it, which is even more scary.”

He compiled over 1,200 all-purpose yards playing wide receiver and as a special teams returner, while also scoring 11 total touchdowns. 

Like Robinson, Elston has contributed to Parkview’s varsity squad since his freshman season. He gashed opposing defenses for 1,854 all-purpose yards a season ago, including more than 800 yards both rushing and receiving, plus scored 22 touchdowns. 

Elston’s primary recruiter for Arkansas is wide receivers coach Ronnie Fouch, who had previously served on Hogs offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino’s staff at Missouri State.

“It was a great visit when I went there [in June],” Elston said. “Coach Fouch showed me the Petrino offense and it was good. I love the offense they run and Coach Fouch and I have a great relationship. We talk about twice a week.”

Barry Sanders as a Model

Barry Sanders retired before Elston was born, but the NFL’s fourth all-time leading rusher is one Elston enjoys watching highlights of due to the similar size and running style Sanders played with. 

“They know that I can run through tackles and get through the hole and do the things that he did,” Elston said. “I can also play slot with my route running, so they basically want me to do everything for both running back and wide receiver. 

While not as tall as a typical college running back at 5-foot-8, Elston’s body of work on the field speaks for itself just as it did for the 5’8″ Sanders.

“I just always work hard and do not listen to anybody,” Elston said. “Everybody is going to say the same thing, and there is nothing I can do about it.”

No matter where Elston ends up, Bolding has had a front row seat watching his career unfold and knows Elston’s potential. 

“He has been doing it since he’s been on campus his ninth grade year and in middle school before that,” Bolding said. “He is another one of those guys who does stuff that you can not coach. Monterrio is going to go to college and do really well, then people will know who he really is.” 

Parkview Going For Third-Straight Ring

Being the flagship program of Arkansas, there has been a consistent trend through the years of Razorback coaches wanting to put a hypothetical recruiting fence around the state. 

Monterrio Elston, Omarion Robinson and the other Parkview prospects mentioned are just some of the names who will play at the next level as Arkansas’ coaching staff has clearly made John Barrow Road a priority with a handful of offers currently extended to Patriots. 

However, regardless of where Elston, Robinson, or any other in-state athlete decides to go, the chances of returning home are much higher in a transfer portal age. 

“It is a very small positive, but the one positive of the portal is they can jump in if they are not happy somewhere,” Bolding added. “It really gives them other opportunities.”

In terms of the Razorbacks, having Murphy already committed and being an in-house daily recruiter does provide an advantage for the home state team.

Not to say it will be that way this time around, but there have been cases before where players committed elsewhere prior to their senior season and ended up becoming a Razorback legend – Joe Adams committing to Southern California in August of 2007, for example. 

Two Parkview seniors will announce their decisions Saturday, followed by another in a month, but there is still a lot that can happen between now and the Early Signing Period as the Patriots aim to reel off back-to-back undefeated seasons and three-peat for the first time in school history when they open the season on the road against Melissa (Texas) High on Aug. 31.

***

***

More coverage of Arkansas football and Arkansas recruiting from BoAS…

Facebook Comments