Hugh Freeze may have landed one of the Natural State’s top prospects, but Arkansas football has returned the favor with a steady raid of his backyard that continued Saturday with the commitment of Tevis Metcalf.
The cornerback out of Parker High in Birmingham, Ala., picked the Razorbacks over home state Auburn, as well as Georgia Tech and Colorado, announcing his decision via Twitter.
“I chose Arkansas because they have always welcomed me and my family,” Metcalf told AL.com. “They have been with us from the time they offered my brother and me. They’re always mentioning to me how they love my work habits.”
A mid-tier three-star recruit across all services, Metcalf is not ranked nearly as high as Walker White, the four-star quarterback from Little Rock Christian who committed to Auburn in February. Still, he was a desired in-state prospect for the Tigers.
He had been on the Plains three times since the calendar flipped to 2023 and recently told Rivals that he was hearing from the Auburn coaches “every other day.” Then there’s the connection between the Tigers’ first-year head coach and the Metcalf family: Freeze recruited and coached his cousin, current Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf, at Ole Miss.
However, that wasn’t enough to overcome the family advantage Arkansas had by signing his brother, four-star safety TJ Metcalf, in the 2023 recruiting class.
By announcing his decision Saturday night, Metcalf became the Razorbacks’ ninth 2024 commitment and fourth in a span of two days. A trio of four-star recruits — cornerback Jaden Allen, defensive end Charleston Collins and wide receiver Courtney Crutchfield — pledged Friday.
The only other three-star commitment in the class so far is defensive tackle Dion Stutts, and he’s a high three-star. Quarterback KJ Jackson, defensive end Kavion Henderson and athletes Noreel White and Julius Pope are four-star pledges.
The Recruitment of Tevis Metcalf
Tagging along on visits by his older brother, Tevis Metcalf has traveled across the country during the recruiting process. However, not many were willing to pull the trigger on an offer.
The Razorbacks didn’t hesitate, though, becoming his first FBS offer last February. They joined FCS schools Alabama A&M and Jackson State, the latter of which was coached by Deion Sanders before Sanders took the Colorado football job.
Metcalf then put together a solid junior season playing in the same defensive backfield as his brother at Pinson Valley High. Standing at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, he proved to be a shutdown corner for the Indians, notching seven pass breakups and four interceptions — one of which he returned for a touchdown.
It was during the season that Auburn decided to enter the mix and extend an offer. That was well after TJ had committed to the Razorbacks, too, so it wasn’t a courtesy offer to help lure his brother to town.
He ended up adding offers from Georgia Tech and Colorado, the latter of which came after Deion Sanders was hired away from Jackson State. Even with the jump up into the Power Five, the NFL Hall of Famer still thought highly enough of Metcalf to try to bring him to Boulder.
While he was a frequent visitor to Auburn, which is just a couple hours away from his hometown, Metcalf made his way to Fayetteville quite a bit, as well. He and his brother both came for a Prospect Day last March and were here again for the Cincinnati game. Metcalf also came up in January to help his brother move in, returned for one of the earlier practices in spring ball and, most recently, was here for the Red-White spring game.
Back on March 2, Metcalf shared that he had a “great conversation” with new co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Marcus Woodson, indicating that the Razorbacks still wanted him even though former defensive backs coach Dominique Bowman was let go.
Metcalf released a top four of Arkansas, Auburn, Colorado and Georgia Tech on April 7, but planned to take official visits over the summer before making his decision. He also wanted to get feedback from his brother on what it was like to actually play for the Razorbacks.
“After his first year, I want to get his feedback with the inside perspective from the player,” Metcalf told Rivals in January. “I want an honest opinion. That will factor in.”
It turns out that only three months and 15 spring practices were enough evidence for the older Metcalf to convince the younger one to join him in Fayetteville.
In the meantime, Metcalf has been invited to participate in the 2023 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and will play his senior season at Parker High School in Birmingham.
Arkansas Football’s Presence in Alabama
The Razorbacks have now done something in back-to-back years that they hadn’t done since 1996.
Tevis Metcalf is the third player from Alabama to commit to Arkansas football in the 2024 class, joining four-star quarterback KJ Jackson from St. James School in Montgomery and four-star defensive lineman Kavion Henderson from Leeds.
It’s the second straight class with a trio of players from the Yellowhammer State for the Razorbacks, as they landed his brother (four-star safety TJ Metcalf out of Pinson Valley), four-star wide receiver Davion Dozier from Moody and three-star cornerback Dallas Young from Gardendale in the most recent cycle.
The last time Arkansas brought in three players from Alabama in the same class was 1996, when it signed linebacker Quinton Caver (Anniston High), running back Chrys Chukwuma (Sidney Lamar High in Montgomery) and linebacker Jamel Harris (Wicksburg High in Newton).
Special teams coordinator Scott Fountain, who grew up, played and coached in the state for a large chunk of his life, has played a key role in the increased push into Alabama. The recruiting push there has been even more impressive considering all of Razorback commits from there had other legitimate SEC offers and weren’t just so-called “diamonds in the rough.”
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
- CB Tevis Metcalf — Birmingham (Ala.) Parker — April 22, 2023
Check out some highlights of new Arkansas football commit Tevis Metcalf:
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