Arkansas may not have signed anyone on National Signing Day, but it did add to its next class by landing an important in-state commitment from Carius Curne.
The Class of 2025 two-way lineman out of Marion announced his pledge Wednesday night, choosing the Razorbacks from an offer sheet that included half of the SEC. He had visited Fayetteville for Junior Day just 11 days earlier.
It was a big get for Sam Pittman and the Arkansas football program — both literally and figuratively.
Curne is a four-star, top-200 recruit and stands 6-foot-4, 305 pounds. He plays on both sides of the ball for the Patriots and it’s not yet known if he’ll end up on the offensive line or at defensive tackle when he arrives in Fayetteville, as he’s been recruited at both spots.
Although Marion did produce a North Texas signee — running back Ashton Gray — in the 2024 class, Curne will be the school’s first Power Four signee since Jerry Franklin in 2007. Arkansas would love for Curne to enjoy similar success in Fayetteville, given Franklin is the UA’s third all-time leading tackler (382) and is the only player in school history to lead the team in tackles four straight years.
The Razorbacks appear to be done recruiting high school players in the 2024 class, with all of their pledges signing during the early period in December, but they are just getting started on their 2025 crop.
With two commitments in the past week, Arkansas is up to five players in that class. Markeylin Batton, an athlete from Texas, announced his pledge last Saturday, while in-state quarterback Grayson Wilson from Central Arkansas Christian, running back Jamarion Parker from St. Louis and kicker Evan Noel from Mississippi committed last year.
Only three SEC programs have more commitments in 2025 than the Razorbacks. It’s far too early in the process to put much stock into recruiting rankings, but the group currently ranks as high as No. 19 nationally in the 247Sports Composite and as low as No. 23 on Rivals and in the On3 Industry rankings.
The Recruitment of Carius Curne
After picking up some early offers from the likes of Memphis, UTSA, Texas State and Liberty, Carius Curne notched his first Power Four offer on June 7 last year. It came from the home state Razorbacks.
They were pretty quickly followed by Mississippi State and Ole Miss before the end of the month. Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee and LSU had jumped on board by the end of his junior season, with Florida, Louisville and Purdue extending offers more recently.
It was a very good junior season, too, as he helped Marion to an 8-3 record and second-place finish in the 6A East. Curne mostly played on offense, where he graded out at 90% and racked up 52 knockdowns, but he did notch a couple of sacks in limited playing time on defense.
Naturally, that kind of interest on the recruiting trail and production on the field led to the recruiting services taking notice. ESPN has him ranked the highest, at No. 110 overall, but he’s also inside the top 200 on 247Sports (No. 175) and Rivals (No. 177).
In the 247Sports Composite, which also factors in a rogue three-star rating by On3, Curne checks in as the No. 206 overall recruit in the Class of 2025, as well as the No. 18 offensive tackle and No. 1 player in the state.
Despite being categorized as an offensive tackle, there’s a chance he could end up playing defensive tackle in college, as he’s been recruited by both offensive line coach Eric Mateos and defensive line coach Deke Adams. It’s very similar to current right tackle Patrick Kutas, a two-way player in high school who originally committed to the Razorbacks as a defensive tackle and shifted to offense before signing.
What it Means for Arkansas Football
Both 247Sports and ESPN rank Carius Curne as the top player in the state for his class, while Rivals and On3 have him at No. 2 behind two different Little Rock Parkview players — defensive back Omarion Robinson (Rivals) and quarterback/athlete Quentin Murphy (On3).
Landing a player of his caliber will not only help the Razorbacks on the field in a couple of years, but it also serves as a nice PR boost at a time they desperately could use some damage control.
Coming off a 4-8 season in which it won only one SEC game and with a head coach widely believed to be on the hot seat going into next year, Arkansas lost several four-star commits down the stretch and its once-promising 2024 recruiting class plummeted to 15th in the SEC.
Making matters worse has been the Razorbacks’ struggles keeping the in-state talent home. In the 2023 class, they signed what’s believed to be an all-time low three players from the Natural State. That could be written off as a down year within the state, but he followed it up by signing an all-time low percentage of the Power Four signees from the state in 2024. Arkansas landed only five of 14 (35.7%).
If you include former Bryant defensive end T.J. Lindsey, who finished his career at IMG Academy, there were six 247Sports Composite four-star recruits in the state this past cycle. They were evenly split, two apiece, amongst Arkansas, Auburn and Missouri.
Missouri is perhaps the most concerning of that group given head coach Eli Drinkwitz’s ties to the state, his staff filled with Arkansas connections and the success the Tigers had last season. It was one of Curne’s many offers and Drinkwitz even made a point to come down to Marion late last month, but Arkansas still landed his commitment less than two weeks later.
Of course, the Razorbacks also had the top in-state player for 2024 committed for a while, only for Pine Bluff wide receiver Courtney Crutchfield to flip to Missouri just before the early signing period. There’s a long way to go until then for the 2025 class, but for now at least, Arkansas has Curne in the mix.
Arkansas’ In-State Efforts in 2025 and Beyond
The Razorbacks are back up to two in-state commitments in the 2025 class with Carius Curne’s announcement, as he joins Central Arkansas Christian quarterback Grayson Wilson.
They previously had two in-state pledges until a couple of months ago when Bauxite safety Marcus Wimberly de-committed shortly after visiting Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Michigan-Ohio State game. The Wolverines have always been in the mix for him, but he’s since picked up offers from Tennessee, Oklahoma and SMU.
Another top in-state recruit in the 2025 class, Bryant running back Daniel Anderson, is already off the board and committed to Notre Dame. It’s also worth noting that athlete Darnell Williams committed to Ole Miss while still at Ashdown, but he’s since moved to Texarkana, where he’ll play at Texas High across the border.
The two wildcards in the class are the aforementioned Little Rock Parkview players ranked ahead of Curne on a couple of the recruiting sites.
Quentin Murphy is a quarterback who transferred in from Joe T. Robinson after the season and has reported offers from Ole Miss, Georgia and Syracuse, as well as Arkansas. However, the Razorbacks already have a quarterback committed in the class, so they’d likely only take him if he was willing to play another position.
Omarion Robinson is the big fish still out there, as his recruitment has exploded since the calendar flipped to 2024. Over a span of four weeks, he picked up offers from Georgia, Mississippi State, Colorado, Michigan, Florida and LSU. Arkansas was among the many offers he had before last season.
It might help the Razorbacks if they’re able to land another Parkview player in the 2025 class in Monterrio Elston, a speedy playmaker whom they offered last month.
Looking ahead to 2026, most of the attention has been centered on Greenwood quarterback Kane Archer — and whether or not Arkansas will also offer his older brother, 2025 linebacker Cash Archer — but there are two other SEC-level prospects to keep an eye on and the Razorbacks offered both of them last month.
Danny Beale is another two-way lineman, similar to Curne, from Cross County High School in Cherry Valley — the same school that produced Arkansas legend Wayne Martin — and Anthony Kennedy Jr. is a defensive end at Little Rock Southwest. Both of them have multiple SEC offers already.
Check out some highlights of new Arkansas football commit Carius Curne:
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