For the third offseason, Arkansas football has used the transfer portal to bring a rare five-star prospect to Fayetteville.
Former Georgia linebacker Xavian Sorey Jr., a heralded recruit in the 2021 class, announced his commitment to the Razorbacks on Dec. 19 and is one of their nine portal pledges of the current cycle so far.
It comes two years after Sam Pittman managed to reel in Alabama linebacker Drew Sanders and Oklahoma wide receiver Jadon Haselwood, both of whom were five-star recruits coming out of high school. Last year, the Razorbacks landed Georgia cornerback Jaheim Singletary.
That trio, plus the late Ryan Mallett (who transferred in from Michigan following the 2007 season), are the only higher rated recruits to transfer to Arkansas during the 247Sports era:
- Ryan Mallett (Michigan): .9978
- Jadon Haselwood (Oklahoma): .9967
- Drew Sanders (Alabama): .9896
- Jaheim Singletary (Georgia): .9878
- Xavian Sorey Jr. (Georgia): .9864
Here’s a rundown of all nine transfers who’ve committed to Arkansas football so far, as well as other players the Razorbacks are targeting in the transfer portal and those who’ve committed elsewhere…
Committed to Arkansas Football
OL Keyshawn Blackstock — Michigan State
A heralded JUCO recruit in the 2023 class, Keyshawn Blackstock signed with Michigan State and opened the season as the Spartans’ backup left tackle. He played in just four games before entering the transfer portal when head coach Mel Tucker was fired. Many schools recruited him out of the portal, but the Razorbacks were able to secure his commitment before the end of the season.
TE Andreas Paaske — Eastern Michigan
His stats don’t exactly jump off the page, with only 14 catches for 245 yards and two touchdowns the last two seasons at Eastern Michigan, but that’s okay because he is expected to be more of a blocking tight end. Interestingly, he is the second player from Denmark in Arkansas history, following in the footsteps of Hjalte Froholdt.
QB Taylen Green — Boise State
Bobby Petrino looked into a couple of quarterbacks in the transfer portal and found his man in Taylen Green, whom he actually recruited out of high school while at Missouri State. His numbers dipped in 2023 — for legitimate reasons — but he was the MWC Freshman of the Year in 2022 and ended this season on a high note with a big performance in the MWC Championship Game.
DB Doneiko Slaughter — Tennessee
A veteran defensive back with SEC experience, Doneiko Slaughter is capable of playing cornerback, safety or nickel. He started 15 career games and played 1,129 career snaps for the Volunteers, racking up 87 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, seven pass breakups and one interception. Slaughter had a unique reason for picking the Razorbacks.
OL Fernando Carmona — San Jose State
Despite the fact he didn’t play football until his junior year of high school, San Jose State took a chance on Fernando Carmona and it worked out really well. The Spartans moved him from tight end to left tackle and he played every snap as a redshirt freshman in 2022. Listed at 6-foot-5, 325 pounds, Carmona earned honorable mention All-MWC honors this season.
K Matthew Shipley — Hawaii
With Cam Little declaring for the NFL Draft and touted high schooler Evan Noel not arriving on campus until 2025, the Razorbacks need a kicker next season and Matthew Shipley is a good bridge. A two-time Lou Groza Award semifinalist, he’ll be a super senior next year after making 56 of 73 (76.7%) field goals at Hawaii the last four years.
OL Addison Nichols — Tennessee
Despite being a top-200 prospect, Addison Nichols was a reserve interior offensive lineman for the Volunteers. He didn’t start a game, but did play 128 offensive snaps the last two years, primarily at left guard. The Razorbacks have now landed three offensive linemen from the transfer portal.
LB Xavian Sorey Jr. — Georgia
A top-25 recruit in the 2021 class, Xavian Sorey Jr. has played sparingly for the Bulldogs the last three years. After playing 26 snaps in 2021 and 90 snaps in 2022, he actually got 188 snaps this year and made 19 tackles while earning a 60.1 PFF grade.
WR Jordan Anthony — Texas A&M
Although he has only three career receptions for 14 yards, Jordan Anthony is a former four-star recruit who is now on his third school in as many years after one-year stops at Kentucky and, most recently, Texas A&M – where he of course played for offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino. The Tylertown, Miss., native has legit track speed. In fact, Anthony broke Kentucky’s freshman record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.55 seconds, which ranked second in school history regardless of classification.
Transfer Portal Targets for Arkansas Football
RB Ja’Quinden Jackson — Utah
Formerly a dual-threat quarterback who signed with Texas as a top-50 overall prospect out of Duncanville, Texas, Ja’Quinden Jackson transferred to Utah and converted to running back, where he’s had quite a bit of success. This season, his first as a full-time running back, he ran for 797 yards and four touchdowns on 161 carries, earning him an 82.0 PFF grade.
OL Percy Lewis — Mississippi State
Percy Lewis will be a super senior in 2024 after spending two years in junior college and two years at Mississippi State. At the latter of those stops, he eventually became the starting left tackle midway through this past season and posted a solid 66.6 PFF grade on 437 snaps. Lewis released a top eight on Dec. 30 that included Arkansas, as well as Auburn, Cal, Florida State, Georgia, Memphis, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
OL Micah Mazzccua — Florida
He has not shared any offers via Twitter, but Micah Mazzccua figures to be a top target for Arkansas considering he played for offensive line coach Eric Mateos at Baylor before transferring to Florida. He was the starting left guard for the Bears in 2022, earning a 74.4 PFF grade on 759 snaps, and then started at right guard for the Gators this season, earning a 69.0 PFF grade on 730 snaps. Mazzccua also seems to be close with former Baylor teammate and current Arkansas defensive back Lorando “Snaxx” Johnson:
DL Anton Juncaj — Albany
Playing at the same school that produced Florida State standout Jared Verse, Anton Juncaj put up huge numbers this season. In 15 games, he racked up 55 tackles, including 21.5 for loss and 15 sacks, plus added 12 quarterback hurries, five forced fumbles and three pass breakups. That made him one of 30 finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the top defensive player in the FCS.
DL Isaiah Raikes — Texas A&M
A former four-star recruit, Isaiah Raikes has started five total games at Texas A&M over the last four years. He’s a 6-foot-2, 320-pound defensive tackle who made 17 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack while earning a 72.3 PFF grade on 255 snaps this season.
DB Marquise Robinson — South Alabama
Following one year of JUCO, Marquise Robinson transferred to South Alabama and immediately asserted himself as a starter. He was the Jaguars’ starting nickel back in 2022 and then moved to cornerback this past season. He thrived as a corner, racking up three interceptions to go along with 36 tackles.
DB Jaden Voisin — South Alabama
After five seasons at South Alabama, Jaden Voisin is looking for a new school for his final year of college football. He was a starter the last two years and posted PFF grades of 75.5 in 2022 and 84.4 in 2023. In more than 1,500 combined snaps those two years, Voisin made six interceptions and 12 pass breakups as a safety.
WR LaJohntay Wester — Florida Atlantic
LaJohntay Wester is coming off a monster 2023 season in which he ranked second nationally with 108 receptions. He also ranked 11th in receiving yards with 1,168 and caught eight touchdowns. In four seasons with the Owls, he caught 252 passes for 2,703 yards and 21 touchdowns. He’ll be a super senior next season.
LB Tackett Curtis — USC
The Razorbacks pushed hard for Tackett Curtis when he was a top-200 recruit coming out of Many High School in Louisiana, but ultimately fell by the wayside when the big schools came calling. He chose USC and actually started the first eight games of the season as a true freshman. He finished the year with 40 tackles, including four for a loss and two sacks, plus forced a fumble and recovered two.
DB BJ Mayes — UAB
Having already used the transfer portal to make one jump, going from FCS Incarnate Word to UAB last offseason, BJ Mayes is probably looking at cracking the Power Four. He has already reported offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Illinois and Texas A&M. That’s coming off a season in which he made 10 pass breakups and two interceptions while earning a solid 72.9 PFF grade.
DB Micah Robinson — Furman
In 11 games this season, Micah Robinson made 34 tackles, five pass breakups and two interceptions. He played cornerback this season and nickel last season, plus has posted PFF grades of 73-plus on 400-plus snaps in each of the last three seasons. Interestingly, Robinson tweeted about his offer from Arkansas about four hours after announcing his commitment to Tulane.
- QB Chandler Rogers: North Texas —> Cal
- RB Sam Franklin: UT-Martin —> Oklahoma
- RB Jaquez Moore: Duke —> Duke (withdrew from transfer portal)
- RB Rodney Hill: Florida State —> Florida A&M
- WR Ja’Mori Maclin: North Texas —> Kentucky
- WR Josh Kelly: Washington State —> Texas Tech
- WR Zavion Thomas: Mississippi State —> LSU
- WR Cyrus Allen: Louisiana Tech —> Texas A&M
- OL Ethan Miner: North Texas —> Mississippi State
- OL Easton Kilty: North Dakota —> Kansas State
- OL Remington Strickland: Texas A&M —> TCU
- OL Omar Aigbedion: Montana State —> Baylor
- OL Geno VanDeMark: Michigan State —> Michigan State (withdrew from transfer portal)
- DL Nate Matlack: Kansas State —> Pittsburgh
- DL Gage Keys: Kansas —> Auburn
- DL Samuel Okunlola: Pittsburgh —> Colorado
- DL Chris McClellan: Florida —> Missouri
- LB Sam Brumfield III: Middle Tennessee State —> Virginia Tech
- DB Will Lee III: Kansas State —> Texas A&M
- DB Ethan Robinson: Bucknell —> Minnesota
- DB Akili Arnold: Oregon State —> USC
- DB TJ Crandall: Colorado State —> West Virginia
- DB Jermod McCoy: Oregon State —> Tennessee
- DB Tayon Holloway: North Carolina —> Louisville
- DB Nyland Green: Georgia —> Purdue
For a complete look at how the 2024 Arkansas football team is coming together, check out our roster tracker:
More coverage of Arkansas football and the transfer portal from BoAS…