It can be easy to get lost in your older brother’s shadow when he’s already a five-star recruit committed to the in-state school, but Landren Blocker is making a name for himself anyway.
Already with several high-major offers, Blocker was among the standouts at last weekend’s prestigious Wootten Top 150 camp in Mansfield, Texas, and could quickly go from unranked in the 2024 class to highly touted based on comments by multiple recruiting outlets in attendance.
An invitation-only event, the camp is led by Joe Wootten, the chairman of the McDonald’s All-American Game, and allows top high school seniors, juniors and sophomores to put their talents on display in front of other members of the McDonald’s All-American committee.
Blocker took advantage of the two days filled with skill work and games, as the 6-foot-5, 190-pound shooting guard was singled out by 247Sports national analyst Brandon Jenkins as a underclassman who caught his eye.
“It just always seemed as if Landren Blocker was at the right place at the right time,” Jenkins wrote. “The brother of Arkansas pledge Layden Blocker, Landren was the king of making something happen above the rim this weekend.”
Jenkins added that the younger Blocker, who plays at Little Rock Christian, also displayed a nose for the ball on defense, where he was even effective against bigger opponents because of his strength.
He wasn’t the only media member who came away impressed by him, as The Athletic’s Tobias Bass also named him one of the three “most intriguing” prospects at the camp.
“Blocker made several highlight plays throughout the weekend, whether he was blocking shots or throwing down dunks. With his strong frame and athleticism, he has the potential to be a lockdown defender, impactful rebounder and effective finisher around the rim at the next level.”
It’s worth noting that Layden Blocker, who recently got bumped up to five-star status in the 2023 class in the 247Sports Composite, also participated in the event and drew solid reviews.
A 6-foot-3, 180-pound point guard who committed to Arkansas over the summer, Layden Blocker has shot up the rankings over the last couple of years. The two brothers were actually matched up against each other in some five-on-five settings.
Here are a few other Arkansas-related nuggets from the Wootten Top 150…
- Major Arkansas basketball recruiting target Ron Holland likely solidified his roster spot for the McDonald’s All-American Game, according to 247Sports’ Eric Bossi and Adam Finkelstein, while Tobias Bass of The Athletic named him one of his two MVPs and Rivals’ Rob Cassidy tabbed him the “one-on-one champ.” The Razorbacks are among his finalists, but according to 247Sports, he won’t make a decision until this spring.
- Another in-state prospect who participated in the event was Little Rock Central shooting guard Annor Boateng (6-5, 200). He was deemed “as advertised,” by Cassidy, who wrote he “often looked like the best guard on the floor over the weekend.” Click here to read the BoAS scouting report on Boateng.
- Included among the 14 sophomores at the event was Benton small forward Terrion Burgess (6-9, 180). Although he’s unranked by ESPN, Rivals and On3, he’s ranked No. 17 nationally by 247Sports in the Class of 2025. He already has an offer from Arkansas and, according to Pig Trail Nation, Arkansas basketball coaches will visit his school next week.
- On the girls’ side of the camp, three Arkansas natives participated, including Arkansas commit Jenna Lawrence from Farmington. Conway’s Chloe Clardy (Stanford) and Sylvan Hills’ Jianna Morris (Louisiana Tech) were the others.
- Five-star Arkansas commit Taliah Scott, a 5-foot-9 guard out of St. John’s Country Day in Florida, also turned heads at the camp. She is the No. 13 overall prospect in the Class of 2023 on ESPN.
Sam Pittman Bats 1.000
Although it didn’t go as Arkansas fans would have liked, the Alabama game was a big recruiting weekend — across multiple sports.
Most of the attention centered around the football prospects in town, which is understandable considering the list included about 90 names, according to WholeHogSports. Among them were 2024 five-star wide receiver Ryan Wingo, 2024’s top dual-threat quarterback DJ Lagway and numerous others with big-time offer lists.
Much like he did earlier in the season, though, head coach Sam Pittman’s first stop prior to pregame warmups was the sideline opposite of those prospects. He visited with women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors, baseball coach Dave Van Horn and their recruits for a few minutes before going over to his recruits.
About a month earlier, it was softball coach Courtney Deifel and her recruits that Pittman visited with before the Cincinnati game. She is actually who originally asked him if he’d be willing to do that and, being a softball fan, Pittman agreed and tweaked his pregame routine by coming out a few minutes earlier than usual.
“I was very honored to be able to meet them and things of that nature, and then, of course, we had a whole bunch of them over there on our side, so I got back over to that side,” Pittman said. “But that started with Courtney asking me to come over and say hello. And certainly I want to help. I want to help any way I can.”
At the time of the his weekly Zoom Wednesday afternoon, Pittman was 2 for 3 with his recruiting assist, but improved to 3 for 3 a few hours later.
As BoAS mentioned in last week’s recruiting nuggets, Ashtyn Reichardt — an outfielder from Katy, Texas — committed last week. She is the No. 28 overall prospect in the 2024 class, according to Extra Inning Softball. On Tuesday, Ella McDowell — a middle infielder out of Foster High School in Richmond, Texas — also committed. She is the No. 3 overall prospect in the country.
Then, on Wednesday night, right-handed pitcher Cameryn Harrison entered the mix. Also from Katy, Texas, she is the No. 5 overall prospect — and Deifel might not be done. She sent a pair of “WPS” tweets on Wednesday and only one commitment has been made public.
“I’m well aware of that,” Pittman said with a smile when told about being 2 for 3. “I hope we can recruit for our team as good as we’re helping over there.”
Other Arkansas Recruiting Nuggets
- The Arkansas basketball team also had a trio of visits in Fayetteville last weekend, highlighted by official visits from Baye Fall and Assane Diop. Cousins out of Colorado, Fall is a five-star recruit, while Diop is a top-100 four-star prospect. Also in town for an unofficial visit was Parker Jefferson, the No. 44 overall player in the 2025 class, from Waxahachie, Texas. He has yet to receive an offer from Arkansas, but is the son of two former Razorbacks.
- On the gridiron, four-star safety commit Jaylon Braxton made some plays on the offensive side of the ball in Frisco Lone Star’s 69-14 win over Frisco Liberty last Thursday. He caught two passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.
- They have some pretty stiff competition, but the Razorbacks were among the top 12 schools released by Jerrick Gibson this week. He is the No. 1 running back and a five-star recruit in the 2024 class. Other schools on his list are Alabama, Michigan, Texas A&M, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, Ohio State, Miami (Fla.), Oregon and Tennessee.
- Another list Arkansas cracked was for Zayden High, a consensus top-70 prospect in the 2023 class. The small forward is also considering Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Villanova.
- In addition to landing the third-ranked recruit mentioned above, Arkansas softball also secured an in-state pledge this week in Ava Carter out of Greene County Tech in Paragould.
More coverage of Arkansas recruiting from BoAS…