It turns out that one of the Razorbacks’ Fourth of July commitments was just a Tease after all.
Four-star athlete Micah Tease, who was set to play wide receiver in Fayetteville, backed off his pledge to the Arkansas football program Monday morning, just two days before the start of the early signing period.
“I would also like to thank Coach Pittman, Coach Guiton and the entire Arkansas staff for putting in the time and effort to recruit me this past year,” Tease wrote in a statement shared via Twitter. “I want to also thank the amazing fans of razorback nation as well.
“It’s been an enjoyable process to be committed to the University of Arkansas, but after long talks and consideration, I am decommitting from the University of Arkansas.”
The Tulsa native and product of Booker T. Washington High School originally picked the Razorbacks over a slew of offers, including from the likes of Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC and many other Power Five programs.
With the early signing period set for Wednesday through Friday this week, Arkansas has now lost a trio of players from its 2023 recruiting class in a span of just over 24 hours. On Sunday, three-star defensive tackle Stephen Johnson flipped to Auburn and four-star tight end Jaden Hamm decommitted following a visit to Kansas.
Hamm announced his commitment to the Jayhawks the next day, but Tease’s new college destination is not yet known. He still plans to sign at 1 p.m. CT Wednesday.
What it Means for Arkansas Football
Listed as an athlete on most recruiting services, Micah Tease has been recruited on both sides of the ball and could likely play defensive back or wide receiver in college.
However, the Razorbacks made him a major priority as a receiver — a spot they have quite a few holes to fill in 2023.
With Matt Landers out of eligibility, Jadon Haselwood declaring for the NFL Draft and both Ketron Jackson Jr. and Warren Thompson entering the transfer portal, Arkansas is losing its top four wide receivers from this season. They accounted for well over 90% of the Razorbacks production at the position and begs the question: Who will KJ Jefferson throw the ball to next year?
Lightly used redshirt freshmen Bryce Stephens and Jaedon Wilson will be back, as will four-star true freshmen Isaiah Sategna and Sam Mbake. That group will get a chance to show what they can do in the Liberty Bowl, as only Landers will be available from the usual contributors, but they haven’t done much to this point of their careers.
There’s also a chance true freshman Quincey McAdoo moves back to receiver, but he’s started the last three games at cornerback and played well enough to land on the SEC All-Freshman Team. It’s worth mentioning that head coach Sam Pittman has thrown around the idea of him playing both ways, too.
The Razorbacks clearly identified it as a position of need with the transfer portal and have already landed one of the more coveted FCS transfers available in Andrew Armstrong from Texas A&M-Commerce. They’ve also brought in Arland Bruce IV from Iowa and Chauncey Magwood from Kentucky for official visits.
Even before Tease de-committed, Arkansas was likely going to need to bring in at least one more transfer wide receiver. Not having him makes that even more important, as Best of Arkansas Sports currently projects it to have only seven on scholarship in 2023.
Of that group, only three of them have ever caught a pass at the FBS level and two of those have exactly one career reception.
There was going to be — and there still is for current commit Davion Dozier — a path to early playing time for Micah Tease, especially considering how talented he is, ranked 115th overall by 247Sports.
Speculating Where Micah Tease Ends Up
Another question Arkansas football fans may have in wake of Micah Tease decommitting is obvious: Well, where will he end up?
It won’t be a long wait to find out the answer because he’ll go public with that decision Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately for the Razorbacks, it looks like it’ll be a team within the SEC West. Three different experts on Rivals and five different experts on 247Sports submitted picks for Texas A&M soon after he decommitted from Arkansas.
That’s not particularly surprising because Tease actually took an official visit to College Station the weekend before Texas A&M beat Arkansas back in September. The Aggies are also known for taking full advantage of the new rules that allow athletes to make money on the name, image and likeness.
It was widely speculated that NIL played a major role in Texas A&M putting together one of the best signing classes of the modern recruiting rankings era last offseason. On the flip side, it’s also believed to be a factor — along with a disappointing 5-7 season — in Texas A&M leading the SEC in players transferring out.
If the split was amicable and Tease didn’t burn any bridges with Sam Pittman, it’s not totally inconceivable that the Razorbacks end up getting him from the transfer portal down the line if it plays out that way. Although they weren’t ever commitments, that’s what happened with guys like Landon Jackson, Dwight McGlothern and Jacolby Criswell, whom they didn’t land despite recruiting hard out of high school.
Reassessing the 2023 Arkansas Recruiting Class
What was once a strong, 23-man class that was ranked inside the top 15 nationally is starting to fall apart for Arkansas football.
Now with only 20 commitments, the Razorbacks’ class has slipped to No. 20 in the 247Sports Composite. They’re still at No. 15 on Rivals, but losing another commitment — especially one of the higher ranked guys — could drop them outside of the top 20.
Unfortunately for Sam Pittman, that is still on the table. Four-star tight end Shamar Easter, the top player in the state at Ashdown High, officially visited South Carolina this weekend. That’s where former Arkansas tight ends coach Dowell Loggains is now the offensive coordinator.
On a more positive note, four-star defensive back T.J. Metcalf told Rivals that he is “100% locked in” with the Razorbacks after visiting Georgia Tech over the weekend and also being pursued by Colorado and Penn State in recent weeks.
There is also always the chance of the Razorbacks pulling off a flip of their own. After hiring defensive coordinator Travis Williams from UCF, many Arkansas football fans quickly identified twins Andrew and Michael Harris as potential targets. The pair of four-star linebackers have already decommitted from the Knights.
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