The annual Arkansas vs Texas A&M matchup being played in the heart of a major recruiting ground has long been one of the biggest perks of the Southwest Classic.
The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex — and Texas in general — has always been important for the Razorbacks and playing there every year gives recruits in the area a chance to see them in person, even if it isn’t on campus for a traditional official or unofficial visit.
As the designated home team, Arkansas is allowed to distribute tickets to recruits, but the coaches are not allowed to interact with them.
This year, for the penultimate game between the schools at AT&T Stadium, the Razorbacks will welcome a recruit from another talent-rich part of the country: Madden Williams, a 2026 athlete out of St. John Bosco in Bellflower, Calif, part of the Los Angeles metro area.
On Thursday, Williams Tweeted the news of his roughly 1,234 mile flight to Arlington for Arkansas vs Texas A&M. He’ll be tagging along with teammate Tay Lockett, who’s already committed in the Razorbacks’ 2026 class and apparently convinced him Arkansas was worth checking out.
“I have been telling Madden for a very long time that Arkansas is the place to be,” Lockett told Best of Arkansas Sports. “The hospitality, the facilities, the coaches, the people – just the overall love that he would get from Arkansas as a whole will be nothing like he has ever had at any other school.”
Even though he isn’t included in the initial Class of 2026 top-100 rankings by the major recruiting services, Williams is already well known in recruiting circles and is considered a four-star recruit by national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.
The Razorbacks have not yet extended Madden a scholarship, but two-time defending national champion Georgia offered him earlier this month. Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas and several other Power Five programs are also in pursuit.
Listed as an athlete on most websites, Williams plays wide receiver in high school and has caught 25 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns through five games.
He and Lockett are key contributors on one of the best high school football teams in the country. St. John Bosco is 4-1 and ranked No. 9 nationally by both MaxPreps and USA Today despite losing its last game – a 30-23 defeat at the hands of Kahuku High in Hawaii.
Prior to that game, the Braves had beaten programs based in the Las Vegas area; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Washington D.C. and Baltimore. They move into league play Friday night with a road game against Santa Margarita High.
Despite that game kicking off at 7 p.m. PT, Lockett and Williams will be inside AT&T Stadium in time for kickoff of Arkansas vs Texas A&M. They’ll be catching a direct flight to DFW at 6 a.m. that’ll have them in the building by 11 a.m. CT.
If he likes what he sees on Saturday, Williams told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he’d plan a visit to Fayetteville to actually see the campus.
Other 2026 Recruiting Targets
The Razorbacks are one of only three schools – along with Miami (Fla.) and USC – with multiple commitments in the 2026 class already, as Lockett is joined by offensive lineman Bear McWhorter from Georgia.
Both of them are coveted recruits and are actively trying to get other sophomores from around the country to join them in Fayetteville.
Lockett specifically mentioned quarterback Kane Archer from Greenwood, offensive lineman Jackson Cantwell from Nixa, Mo., and running back DeZephen Walker from Peculiar, Mo., in addition to his teammate, Madden Williams, as guys he’s targeting.
“Arkansas is a state people don’t really know about and when mentioned, people have their preconceived notions about what they think it is,” Lockett said. “Not until you experience it for yourself, do you find a real appreciation of what this place has to offer you both on and off the field. Playing in the SEC, the NFL of college football, is also a plus. Leaving a legacy for us to be the stepping stones that propelled the Razorbacks in being a household name is also big.”
How to Watch Arkansas vs Texas A&M
Date: Saturday, Sept. 30
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
Kickoff Time and TV Schedule: 11 a.m. CT (SEC Network)
Announcers: Dave Neal (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (color analyst), Alyssa Lang (sideline reporter)
Texas A&M’s Rankings: RV (AP) | RV (Coaches) | No. 12 (SP+) | No. 16 (FPI)
Arkansas’ Rankings: NR (AP) | NR (Coaches) | No. 36 (SP+) | No. 34 (FPI)
ESPN FPI: Texas A&M has an 73.0% chance to win
SP+ Projection: Texas A&M has a 74% chance to win, favored by 10.9 (proj. score: 33-22)
Odds/Betting Line: Texas A&M, -6.5 | O/U 53.5 (BetSaracen)
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