The Arkansas football program has been known to dip into Oklahoma from time to time to steal a good recruit from its western neighbor.
Felix Jones is probably the best example of when the Razorbacks scored big from a pick out of the Sooner State, but they currently have seven players from Oklahoma on their roster – several of whom have big roles on this year’s team.
Sam Pittman and his staff are trying to add one more to that list with 2026 edge rusher Colton Yarbrough from Durant, Okla. Arkansas has offered the four-star prospect, but it seems it may have to beat out the home state school to get him.
The Recruitment of Colton Yarbrough
According to Rivals, Arkansas gave Yarbrough his first FBS offer. That, combined with the fact that his great-grandmother attended law school at the University of Arkansas, may help the Razorbacks. Yarbrough also reportedly enjoyed his time on campus at the Hogwild Hangout recruiting event in July and he had this to say about Arkansas: “I’m considering it pretty well.”
Yarbrough now has offers from 10 different schools and mentioned both Michigan State and Oregon when asked about what schools interest him. However, there is one potential landing spot that may stand apart from all the rest – his home state school of Oklahoma.
The Sooners have not yet offered Yarbrough, but it won’t be a surprise if they do soon. He visited Oklahoma football in Early September and that is just his most recent of multiple trips to the campus. He also reported that he talks to Oklahoma edge coach Miguel Chavis all the time. On top of that, he grew up a Sooner fan.
“I’ve always been a Sooner fan,” he said in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Fan Nation. While growing up in the state, Yarbrough has had the chance to attend “a lot” of Oklahoma football games.
Arkansas Football Working on Oklahoma Pipeline
All this portends poorly for the Razorbacks, but Arkansas football has built some momentum in the state of Oklahoma recently.
Luke Hasz, who started with a bang as Arkansas’ freshman tight end before a season-ending injury, decommitted from Oklahoma after LIncoln Riley left and ended up choosing Arkansas. Defensive back Myles Slusher – who has since transferred to Colorado – and running back AJ Green both hail from the Sooner State, but chose the Razorbacks. Sam Pittman, as many already know, was born and raised in Oklahoma and has seemingly made in-roads into his home state.
On top of that, Oklahoma went 6-7 last year under first-year head coach Brent Venables. Granted, the Sooners have started this season undefeated and scored a huge win on Saturday over No. 3 Texas, but the recruitment of Yarbrough presents a good opportunity for the Razorback football program to battle the new SEC member Sooners on this front alongside actual games to be played on the actual gridiron.
It’s also possible the Sooners will wait too long or decide not to offer Yarbrough, as hard as that would be to believe. They currently have only two offers out to 2026 edge recruits – Shaun Scott out of Mater Dei High School and Dutch Horisk out of St. John Bosco High School both in California. Scott is ranked as the 50th-best player in the class by Rivals and Horisk to this point is unranked.
Maybe they’re waiting to see what Scott does or maybe they’re waiting to see how refined Yarbrough can become before offering him. Either way, the longer the wait, the better the chances for Arkansas football.
Scouting Report on Colton Yarbrough
Despite being just a sophomore, he is already 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. He played as a stand-up linebacker in his first two games this season and now seems more comfortable lining up at defensive end for class five Durant High School. With more growth, you could see him slide even further on the defensive line to defensive tackle.
After watching the tape of Yarbrough, two things stand out about the young player. First, his athleticism is superior at the high school level. The big linebacker is bigger and faster than almost everyone on the field. This is especially impressive considering he is playing in Oklahoma’s second highest class of football. He is fairly fluid in his motions and has good closing speed when he finds his target.
His skills are still raw, especially at linebacker. This is only his second season playing 11-man football having played only 8-man before. It shows at times, but he has two and a half more years to refine his skills.
Secondly, he already has at least two pass rush moves. Yarbrough seems to split evenly his time between rushing around or bowling right into the offensive tackle. Both moves, speed- and bull-rushes, are effective at the Class 5A level in Oklahoma. He routinely gets cleanly around linemen or knocks them back into the pocket.
As a linebacker, Yarbrough struggled to have a consistent impact on Durant’s defense, but the move to defensive end seems to have paid off. His technique, specifically his hands, look much more natural when he’s lining up opposite of an offensive tackle.
At defensive end, Yarbrough shows the ability to not only use his hands, but use them to get either inside or outside of the lineman.
Being just a sophomore in high school, there is still a lot of time for Yarbrough’s growth and development. It seems unlikely he stays at linebacker if he grows much larger. Currently he is the same height and just 10 pounds lighter than former Arkansas standout Drew Sanders.
If he adds more weight, he may look more like former Razorback great Dan Hampton, who played at 6-foot-5 and 264 pounds. Hampton played on the interior, though, and with Yarbrough’s pass rush moves, his best fit is likely at defensive end.
At that spot, he looks most like Deatrich Wise Jr, who – at 6-foot-5 – was a skilled pass rusher at Arkansas and has now found a role with the New England Patriots. Wise, though, played at 270 pounds. It seems unlikely Yarbrough will gain 50 lbs between now and when he graduates.
Whomever he most resembles in two years, Arkansas hopes he resembles them in a Razorback uniform.
Recent Arkansas Football Signees from Oklahoma
- TE Luke Hasz – 2023 – Bixby (Okla.)
- DB Dylan Hasz – 2023 – Bixby (Okla.)
- WR Bryce Stephens – 2021 – Oklahoma City (Okla.) John Marshall
- K Cam Little – 2021 – Moore (Okla.) Southmoore
- RB Javion Hunt – 2021 – Midwest City (Okla.) Carl Albert
- DB Keuan Parker – 2021 – Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington
- RB AJ Green – 2021 – Tulsa (Okla.) Union
- DT Solomon Wright – 2021 – Vian (Okla.)
- DB Myles Slusher – 2020 – Broken Arrow (Okla.)
- DE Collin Clay – 2019 – Oklahoma City (Okla.) Putnam City
- OL Ricky Stromberg – 2019 – Tulas (Union)
- OL Brady Latham – 2019 – Jenks (Okla.)
Check out some more clips of Arkansas football target Colton Yarbrough:
More coverage of Arkansas football and Arkansas recruiting from BoAS…