DL Target Delays Commitment + More from Arkansas’ Top Texas Recruits

Xavier Ukponu, Nicolas Robertson, Arkansas football, Arkansas recruiting, Texas recruiting
photo credit: Twitter/Xavier Ukponu / Twitter/Nicolas Robertson

In recent years, Arkansas football has made in-roads into some non-traditional recruiting territories.

Over the span of three cycles, including the 2025 class, Sam Pittman has signed or landed commitments from nine players out of Alabama. Most notably, he’s also had success in Georgia, with 13 signees in his first five classes and two more currently committed.

The Razorbacks are actually in contention for another Peach State native who would be one of the biggest fish Pittman has ever reeled in, as high four-star linebacker Tavion Wallace included them in his top four after officially visiting Fayetteville earlier this month.

Unfortunately, it seems like Arkansas is the longest shot of the group, which includes Florida State, Florida and Georgia. On3 gives Wallace a 1.5% chance of choosing Arkansas, which is only a bit better than the odds Arkansas has of winning the SEC this season according to Revolut pay casinos by PlaySafe.

Even with Pittman’s connections in the state, the Razorbacks are likely going to have a tough time beating out the regional powers for the top prospects from Georgia like Wallace.

Where they have traditionally had more success is in Texas. Coming off a tough 4-8 season, Arkansas may not be a huge factor for Wallace-caliber players in the Lone Star State at the moment, but it’s still in play for a few quality recruits, including these guys in the trenches…

Arkansas Battling SEC Rivals for Xavier Ukpuno

Arkansas will have to wait just a bit longer on the decision of high three-star defensive tackle Xavier Ukponu.

The 285-pound senior out of Denton initially set his commitment date for Saturday, but has since changed his mind and delayed that announcement. While no reason was given, it seems that his plans to visit Florida during the season may have played a part in his uncertainty about his decision.

A visit to LSU last weekend could potentially have impacted that timeline as well, with glowing statements about both the Razorback and Tiger staffs and the prospect of playing for each school clouding what once looked to be a very promising edge for the Hogs – something that Arkansas fans are no stranger to after the recent flip by in-state four-star Carius Curne.

Fending off Cal, LSU and Oklahoma State and a pending official visit to Gainesville to see what the Gators have to offer will be no small challenge for the Razorbacks. Right now, LSU seems to be the team to beat, with a pair of Crystal Balls joining the two previous predictions by Rivals’ writers, and the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine giving a slight edge to the Bayou Bengals.

Should the Razorbacks pull off the upset and earn the services of the coveted defensive tackle, it will be due in large part to the relationships he’s built with the Arkansas football staff since adding his offer in March.

“I talk to them every day,” Ukponu told Best of Arkansas Sports. “Coach Pittman, Coach Adams, Coach Green, there’s always someone on the staff that I’m talking to. It’s just been good building this relationship.”

Those connections with defensive line coach Deke Adams and quality control coach Kelvin Green were enough to bring Ukponu to Fayetteville earlier this month for an official visit, a trip that he says put Arkansas at the top of his list prior to his trip to Baton Rouge.

“I just feel like it’s a place I could live,” Ukponu said of what stood out to him about Arkansas. “The relationships, and Coach Adams telling me I can come in and play early and get a chance to be in the two-deep, all of that stuff right there is really enticing.”

With a 5.7 rating from Rivals, Ukponu would be a nice addition to Adams’ strong 2025 recruiting efforts, which have already yielded Caleb Bell, Keiundre Johnson, JaQuentin Madison and Trent Sellers on the defensive line.

Hogs in Mix for Pair of 4-star OL from Texas

Sam Pittman has put his faith in Eric Mateos to rebuild his offensive line group after an abysmal 2023, and he’s off to a solid start on the recruiting trail.

The former Bears assistant coach spent three years under Pittman as a graduate assistant during his initial stint with Arkansas, but has returned to Fayetteville with more than experience. As well as leading some of the best units in the country at Baylor and BYU, Mateos has developed connections with some of the best that the Lone Star State has to offer.

One such Texas football recruit is 2026 four-star Nicolas Robertson, who picked up an offer from Mateos in July of last year. Though it came while Mateos donned the green and gold, Robertson says it means a lot to him that Mateos was in on the ground floor and has now reaffirmed that offer with Arkansas.

A 6-foot-4, 315-pound guard out of Klein, Robertson has been on a tear this summer, adding offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Penn State and Texas this month alone. In fact, it was his performance at the Razorbacks’ recent camp that earned him the offer and a chance to see the Arkansas’ facilities.

“It was great,” Robertson said of his time in Fayetteville. “It’s a beautiful place in my opinion, I like the facilities and the coaching staff – even though it was my first time speaking to a lot of them.”

One coach that caught his eye was the Head Hog himself, Sam Pittman. With a quality education and the potential to develop linemen at the forefront of what he hopes to see in a school, Robertson believes that Pittman gives Arkansas a unique edge over the competition.

“I think it can help develop me more because he was a former offensive line coach,” Robertson said. “He understands more about the position so he can help there.”

Another name to keep an eye on is Felix Ojo, a four-star offensive tackle in the 2026 class who has seen his recruitment explode over the past few months. Fayetteville left a lasting impression on the Lake Ridge prospect after his visit in March.

“The visit to Arkansas was nice,” Ojo said. “They have great facilities and the relationship I’ve been building with Coach Mateos has been great so far.”

That relationship has positioned the Razorbacks well with the 6-foot-7, 274-pound tackle, with him placing Arkansas “pretty high” in his recruitment and planning to visit for a game this fall. 

This would be one of the biggest recruiting wins of the Sam Pittman era. Ojo is already ranked No. 173 overall by 247Sports and has garnered upwards of two dozen offers, including from Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, LSU, Missouri, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and USC.

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Top Texas Football Recruits in Class of 2025

Below are via 247Sports

  1. Devin Sanchez North Shore (Houston, TX) (National rank: 4)
  2. Dakorien Moore Duncanville (Duncanville, TX) (National rank: 5)
  3. Jonah Williams Ball (Galveston, TX) (National rank: 7)
  4. Kaliq Lockett Sachse (Sachse, TX) (National rank: 11)
  5. Ty Haywood Ryan (Denton, TX) (National rank: 18)

Check out some highlights of Xavier Ukponu:

Check out some highlights of Nicolas Robertson: 

Check out some highlights of Felix Ojo:

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More coverage of Arkansas football and Arkansas recruiting from BoAS… 

More on what Eric Mateos is doing for the Hogs:

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