Gauging Flip Potential of Top-100 LSU Commit with Eyes for Arkansas

Xavier Atkins, Arkansas football, Arkansas recruiting, LSU football
photo credit: Twitter/@XavierAtkins8

The final few days before the NCAA’s recruiting dead period were big for Arkansas football, which has its eyes set on flipping a four-star prospect pledged to an SEC rival.

Included among the 15 official visitors over the weekend was LSU commit Xavier Atkins, who had previously been to Fayetteville twice before and seems to be seriously considering the Razorbacks.

A top-100 overall recruit on Rivals, the linebacker has been committed to the Tigers since last summer, but he seems to have had wandering eyes for several months.

After all, he was committed to a different Tigers team, Missouri, for more than four months before flipping to LSU on July 5. Since then, Atkins has continued to share graphics and offers from other schools on his Twitter, while also making several visits to places other than Baton Rouge.

Arkansas entered the mix when defensive coordinator Travis Williams extended a scholarship on Jan. 15 and the Razorbacks got him on campus in March and April. Atkins’ latest trip seems to have them in position for a potential flip.

“Arkansas really is like a real contender now,” Atkins told HawgBeat after the visit. “I think it’s going to be official, Arkansas is in like a good place, a great place.”

Of course, it’s not just Arkansas pushing for a flip from the consensus four-star. Atkins has also visited — officially or unofficially — Colorado, Texas A&M, UCF and Utah in recent months.

It also might not be easy to pull him from LSU’s grasp. Although he now attends Summer Creek High in Humble, Texas, Atkins previously went to Jonesboro-Hodge High in north-central Louisiana. That is just a 3-hour drive from Baton Rouge. His current school is just a 1.5-hour drive from Texas A&M, as well.

Geography might not be working in Arkansas’ favor, but it has given itself a legitimate shot at landing its highest-rated high school linebacker in the 247Sports Composite since Jeb Huckeba in 2001.

Arkansas Hosts Potential Cam Little Successor

The Razorbacks still have a couple of years with Cam Little, but head coach Sam Pittman and special teams coordinator Scott Fountain are already trying to plan for a future without him.

That’s why they’re actively pursuing Kyle Lemmermann, the No. 1 kicker in the 2024 class, according to Chris Sailer Kicking. He was in Fayetteville for a midweek official visit last week and left with high praise for Arkansas, calling it the “best organization in the SEC.”

On Monday, less than a week after returning home to Texas, where he plays at powerhouse program Southlake Carroll, Lemmermann announced he would be committing “this week.”

He did not reveal a specific time or date for the announcement or which schools were his finalists. However, he also took official visits to TCU and Texas Tech, plus has offers from Baylor and North Carolina State. It’s probably a safe bet that Lemmermann will choose one of those five schools.

If he chooses Arkansas, Lemmermann’s time in Fayetteville would overlap with Little by one year. He will be a freshman in 2024, when Little is a senior.

That would allow him to learn the ropes from a veteran and one of the top kickers in the SEC without the pressure of performing immediately as a true freshman. It’s also worth noting that the Razorbacks like to have separate kickers for kickoffs and place kicking, so Lemmermann could still find his way on the field that year.

Huff’s Top 4 Features Strong Arkansas Flavor

Linebacker Brian Huff, one of the top remaining uncommitted in-state prospects, revealed his four finalists over the weekend and it has a strong Arkansas flavor.

Not only did his list include the Razorbacks, but he’s also considering Missouri, UCF and UNLV. The Tigers are coached by Arkansas native Eliah Drinkwitz, the Knights are coached by Arkansas native and former Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, and the Rebels are coached by former Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom with former Arkansas linebackers coach Michael Scherer serving as their defensive coordinator.

The Valley View product and four-star prospect visited all four schools this month and announced his list shortly after completing his trip to Missouri on Sunday. Huff’s trip to Fayetteville was the weekend of June 9-11.

Washington Beats out Hogs for TE

The Razorbacks can cross Decker DeGraff off their list of tight end targets, as he committed to Washington on Sunday.

The high three-star prospect out of Glendora, Calif., made the long trip to Fayetteville for an official visit two weeks ago, but will now remain on the west coast. He also visited Utah and Michigan State.

It’s unclear exactly where the Razorbacks may turn to next at tight end. According to 247Sports, they’ve offered 21 in the 2024 class, but 18 of them have already committed elsewhere.

Among the available three, four-star tight end Tayvion Galloway might be the most intriguing. He’s been on campus before and recently decommitted from LSU. On Sunday, he even tweeted out photos of him in an Arkansas football uniform.

The good news is that the Razorbacks’ tight end room is in much better shape now than it was earlier in Sam Pittman’s tenure. It is currently highlighted by a pair of true freshmen in Luke Hasz and Shamar Easter, a redshirt freshman in Ty Washington and a redshirt sophomore transfer in Var’keyes Gumms.

Arkansas Football Official Visits in June 2023

Weekend of June 2-4

  • WR CJ Brown – Bentonville (Ark.) – COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • WR Dazmin James – Clayton (N.C.) — 2023 recruit – COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS

Weekend of June 9-11

  • LB Jordan Burns – Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) – COMMITTED TO TENNESSEE
  • TE Decker DeGraaf – Glendora (Calif.) – COMMITTED TO WASHINGTON
  • LB Brian Huff – Valley View (Jonesboro, Ark.)
  • DL Kendall Jackson – Buchholz (Gainesville, Fla.)
  • ATH Ahkhari Johnson – Pleasant Grove (Texarkana, Texas) – COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • OL Jac’Qawn McRoy – Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.)
  • RB Nate Palmer – Decatur (Texas) – COMMITTED TO TCU

Weekend of June 16-18

  • CB Jaden Allen – Aledo (Texas) – ALREADY COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • CB Selman Bridges – Temple (Texas) Lake Belton
  • OL William Echoles – Houston (Miss.)
  • CB Chris Johnson II – Aledo (Texas)
  • OL Zuri Madison – Lexington (Ky.) Frederick Douglass
  • ATH Julius Pope – Batesville (Miss.) South Panola – ALREADY COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • RB Braylen Russell – Benton (Ark.)
  • LB Bradley Shaw – Hoover (Ala.)
  • LB Tylen Singleton – Many (La.)

Midweek of June 20-21

  • K Kyle Lemmermann – Southlake (Texas) Carroll

Weekend of June 23-25

  • LB Xavier Atkins – Humble (Texas) Summer Creek – ALREADY COMMITTED TO LSU
  • LB D’Angelo Barber – Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville
  • ATH Jadan Baugh – Decatur (Ga.) Columbia – ALREADY COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • WR Ashton Bethel-Roman – Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point
  • OL Kobe Branham – Fort Smith (Ark.) Southside – COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • DE Charleston Collins – Little Rock (Ark.) Mills – ALREADY COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • WR Courtney Crutchfield – Pine Bluff (Ark.) – ALREADY COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • DL Alex Foster – Greenville (Miss.) St. Joseph
  • S Ashton Hampton – Tallahassee (Fla.) Florida State Univ. School
  • DE Kavion Henderson – Leeds (Ala.) – ALREADY COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • QB KJ Jackson – Montgomery (Ala.) St. James School – ALREADY COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • CB Tevin Metcalf – Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville – ALREADY COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS
  • LB Wyatt Simmons – Searcy (Ark.) Harding Academy
  • OL Fletcher Westphal – Leesburg (Va.) Tuscarora
  • ATH Noreel White – Ocean Springs (Miss.) St. Martin – ALREADY COMMITTED TO ARKANSAS


More coverage of Arkansas football and Arkansas recruiting from BoAS…

Facebook Comments