9th-Grade Phenom Plays Hero (Again) + Other Arkansas Recruiting Nuggets

Kane Archer, Arkansas recruiting, Arkansas football
photo credit: Nick Wenger

The legend of Kane Archer continues to grow.

Believed to be the youngest player ever offered by Arkansas football and already with numerous Power Five offers before entering his freshman year, the touted 2026 quarterback came off the bench and led Greenwood to a 33-23 win over Pulaski Academy last Friday.

Forced into action because of an injury to the starter, Archer inherited a 23-16 deficit and helped the Bulldogs score 17 unanswered points to win one of the most anticipated Arkansas high school football games of the season.

Greenwood’s defense and special teams certainly deserve a lot of credit for stopping 7 of 9 fourth-down attempts and recovering all four on-side kicks by the Bruins, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, but what the freshman did in a big spot shouldn’t be overlooked.

Archer completed 8 of 13 passes for 66 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown — a 14-yard completion on fourth down to Grant Karnes with 8:15 remaining. It was Pulaski Academy’s first loss of the season and improved Greenwood to 8-1 with a perfect 7-0 mark in 6A West play.

It’s not the first time he’s been thrust into a high-profile game and delivered. Earlier in the season, he played the entire second half of Greenwood’s rivalry game with Fort Smith Northside and led Greenwood on a dramatic comeback capped by a Hail Mary as time expired.

As the Bulldogs’ backup quarterback, Archer has completed 43 of 71 passes (60.6%) for 534 yards, 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, plus added another 88 yards and a score on 13 carries.

He is playing behind a senior in Hunter Houston who is being recruited by some smaller schools. However, Houston suffered an ankle injury in the Pulaski Academy game and his status is up in the air for this week.

That means Archer could make his first career varsity start or, at the very least, get significant playing time in another critical game. With a chance to win the conference title outright, Greenwood travels to Little Rock Christian for a showdown with 2024 four-star quarterback Walker White and the 7-2 Warriors.

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Decisions Looming for Hoops Targets

The Arkansas basketball team currently has only one player committed in its 2023 class, with that being five-star point guard Layden Blocker from Little Rock.

That number could potentially triple when a pair of the Razorbacks’ top remaining targets — Baye Fall and Assane Diop — announce their decisions in a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. CT on Nov. 15.

The duo plays at Accelerated Prep in Denver and they are cousins originally from Senegal. Some believe they may be a package deal and the only two schools being considered by both are Arkansas and Seton Hall.

Fall also has Auburn and Rutgers on his list of top schools, while Diop is also considering Colorado. Both are 6-foot-10 centers.

Another name to keep an eye on is Ron Holland, the five-star power forward from Duncanville, Texas, who recently trimmed his list to Arkansas, Texas and UCLA. The Razorbacks were thought to be the favorites, but it now seems as though the Longhorns have surged ahead, picking up predictions from both 247Sports and On3 analysts.

Arkansas definitely didn’t help itself over the weekend when it traveled to Austin for an exhibition game and was blown out by Texas 90-60 with Holland in attendance.

It’s worth noting that the early signing period for college basketball is Nov. 9-16.

Arkansas Football Trying to Flip Big 12 Commit

Last week, Best of Arkansas Sports wrote that the Arkansas football team was likely done adding high school recruits to its 2023 class. Oh, the difference a week can make.

A couple of days earlier, the Razorbacks extended an offer to 2023 defensive tackle Justin Benton, a high three-star recruit from Newton High School in Covington, Ga. It kind of flew under the radar due to his commitment to West Virginia, but it now seems like he may be open to a flip. Benton shared Wednesday that he will be in Fayetteville this weekend for an official visit during the Liberty game.

Arkansas might not be alone in its flip efforts, as he also tweeted about an offer from Texas a few days after getting one from the Razorbacks. Other schools that previously offered Benton include Florida, Georgia, LSU, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, USC and several others.

Through eight games this season, Benton has racked up 42 tackles, including eight for loss and three sacks, according to Pig Trail Nation.

Benton, who played his junior season at IMG Academy in Florida, is the son of former Georgia linebacker Phillip Benton.

Check out some highlights of Justin Benton here:

Other Arkansas Recruiting Nuggets

~In a unique twist, Kane Archer isn’t the youngest prospect in this week’s Arkansas Recruiting Nuggets. That honor belongs to Tayshawn Edwards, a Class of 2027 recruit (that means he’s in the eighth grade) who might just be the next great wide receiver to come out of Warren. He’s already received an offer from Ole Miss and will be in Fayetteville as an unofficial visitor for the Liberty game.

~The Razorbacks made the cut for 2024 tight end Michael Smith’s top eight, which he released Monday. The top-200 recruit from Calvary Day School in Savannah, Ga., also included Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas in his list.

~On the basketball front, head coach Eric Musselman was in The Big Apple on Wednesday to visit 2024 five-star shooting guard Ian Jackson, according to basketball insider Adam Zagoria. He plays at Cardinal Hayes in the Bronx and is a unanimous top-3 overall prospect in his class.

~Maybe I should used the below to kick things off, but instead it’ll be the capper: Enjoy this clip of 2023 four-star commit Luke Brown — a 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive lineman — booting an extra point in Paris, Tenn., Henry County’s 47-0 win over Porland last Friday:


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More coverage of Arkansas recruiting from BoAS…

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