Arkansas football has pulled off a rare recruiting trifecta, as Courtney Crutchfield is the third four-star recruit to announce his commitment on Friday.
The athlete out of Pine Bluff made his announcement mere moments after his former high school teammate, Little Rock Mills defensive end Charleston Collins, and only a few hours after Aledo, Texas, cornerback Jaden Allen.
Listed at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, he is being recruited as a wide receiver for Arkansas football and chose his home state school over a slew of other offers, including the likes of Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and others.
Much like Allen and Collins, Crutchfield’s decision comes less than a week after attending the Razorbacks’ annual Red-White spring game.
Although 247Sports, ESPN and On3 have him rated as a high three-star prospect, Rivals tabbed him a four-star and that helped him earn four-star status in the 247Sports Composite — which combines all of the major services.
It is believed to be just the second time in at least the past decade that Arkansas landed three players of remotely the same caliber on the same day.
The other time was on National Signing Day 2020, when quarterback Malik Hornsby and offensive linemen Marcus Henderson and Jalen St. John went public with their decisions. Hornsby and Henderson were four-star prospects in the 247Sports Composite, while St. John was a four-star recruit on Rivals.
He is the eighth overall commitment in the 2024 Arkansas football recruiting class and only one of them, defensive tackle Dion Stutts from Memphis, is a three-star recruit in the 247Sports Composite.
Stutts is a high three-star, while Crutchfield, Collins, Allen, defensive end Kavion Henderson, quarterback KJ Jackson and athletes Noreel White and Julius Pope are each four-star prospects.
The Recruitment of Courtney Crutchfield
A four-sport athlete at Pine Bluff High, Courtney Crutchfield’s first Division I opportunity was actually on the hardwood, as UAPB extended an offer for him to stay home and play basketball last summer.
However, a big junior season on the gridiron in which he earned All-State honors helped his football recruitment take off.
In addition to playing baseball and being on the track team for the Zebras, Crutchfield plays both ways in football, while also contributing on special teams.
As a wide receiver, he caught only 25 passes, but they went for 706 yards and 11 touchdowns. That means 44% of his receptions resulted in scores and he averaged a whopping 28.2 yards per catch. He made 32 tackles on defense and averaged 15.6 yards on 13 punt returns, one of which he took all the way back for a touchdown.
Not long after the season, Missouri — which signed his teammate, 2023 tight end Jordon Harris, in December — gave him his first football offer. Vanderbilt followed about a week later.
Since the calendar flipped to 2023, things have exploded for Crutchfield. Including Michigan State, which extended one Thursday night, he has 16 total FBS offers. That includes nine of 14 SEC schools and programs like Oklahoma and Kansas State.
Arkansas entered the mix Jan. 21, pulling the trigger on an offer during his unofficial visit to Fayetteville. He was back in town last weekend for the Red-White spring game, too.
It’s worth noting that while he was blowing up on the recruiting trail, Crutchfield was leading Pine Bluff’s basketball team to its first state championship since 2015. He scored 16 points in the Zebras’ 67-51 win over Lake Hamilton in the Class 5A title game, earning MVP honors, and has scored more than 1,300 points in his high school career.
Earlier this month, Crutchfield finished second in the high jump at a track meet by clearing 6 feet, 5 inches on his second attempt — despite never previously competing in or practicing the event.
What it Means for Arkansas Football
Although he is the sixth commitment for Arkansas football in the 2024 class, Courtney Crutchfield is the only in-state prospect so far. However, that could change when Little Rock Mills defensive end Charlie Collins, who played with him at Pine Bluff before this past season, announces his decision later Friday.
If the Razorbacks can secure both commitments, it would be a tremendous step in the right direction with what is shaping up to be a historically strong in-state class.
Offensive coordinator Dan Enos didn’t have enough time to make up ground with Little Rock Christian four-star quarterback — and legacy recruit — Walker White and he ultimately left Arkansas out of his top three before committing to Auburn.
Arkansas held a commitment from Benton four-star running back Braylen Russell for about a year before he backed off his pledge last October, but appears to still be in the mix. He recently announced he’ll reveal his new decision on July 14.
Bryant four-star defensive end TJ Lindsey, Valley View four-star linebacker Brian Huff, Bentonville three-star wide receiver CJ Brown, Fort Smith Southside three-star offensive lineman Kobe Branham and Malvern three-star offensive lineman Vinny Winters have also been offered in the 2024 class.
That is on the heels of an all-time light in-state class, as the Razorbacks signed only two – Bentonville offensive lineman Joey Su’a and Ashdown tight end Shamar Easter – in the 2023 class.
On top of getting the ball rolling with the in-state kids, Crutchfield is a talented playmaker whose chances of early playing time likely depends on what happens with the Razorbacks’ current group of transfers, all of whom have more than one year of eligibility remaining.
The development of guys like Isaiah Sategna and Bryce Stephens will also be a factor, especially since his speed could make him a candidate to play the slot.
It’s also worth noting that Crutchfield has also been recruited by some schools as a defensive back. In fact, it was Michigan State’s cornerbacks coach whom he thanks for the offer from the Spartans on Thursday.
That kind of athlete is always good to have because you never know when you might have to ask a four-star in-state recruit to change positions in the middle of the season because of six or seven injuries within the secondary — just ask Quincey McAdoo. He did just that and landed on the SEC All-Freshman team, despite playing only a handful of games at the position.
2024 Arkansas Recruiting Class
Here’s a list of the Razorbacks’ current commitments in the Class of 2024…
- DE Kavion Henderson — Leeds (Ala.) — Nov. 6, 2022
- DT Dion Stutts — Memphis (Tenn.) University School — March 11, 2023
- ATH Noreel White — Ocean Springs (Miss.) St. Martin — March 13, 2023
- ATH JuJu Pope — Batesville (Miss.) South Panola — April 8, 2023
- QB KJ Jackson — Montgomery (Ala.) St. James — April 9, 2023
- CB Jaden Allen — Aledo (Texas) — April 21, 2023
- WR Courtney Crutchfield — Pine Bluff (Ark.) — April 21, 2023
Check out some highlights of new Arkansas football commit Courtney Crutchfield:
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