Hogs Set 26-year High Mark for Alabama Recruiting with Latest Cotton State Commitment

Sam Pittman Alabama
photo credit: Nick Wenger

Arkansas beat out some of its SEC brethren to land its latest commitment, as Davion Dozier announced his pledge Wednesday afternoon.

The three-star wide receiver from Alabama chose the Razorbacks from a top five that also featured SEC foes Tennessee and South Carolina, as well as Duke and Maryland. The decision gives Arkansas 23 commitments in the 2023 class — with 12 coming in the last three and a half weeks.

Listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Dozier is a big target who used a pair of official visits to check out the Blue Devils and Terrapins last month. Those trips were sandwiched around an unofficial visit to Fayetteville. He is expected to officially visit Arkansas during the season.

As a junior at Moody High School, which competes Alabama’s third-largest of seven classifications, Dozier caught 51 passes for 833 yards and 12 touchdowns in 10 games. He’ll have a new head coach his final year of high school, with former UAB and Georgia linebacker Jake Ganus set to take over.

Dozier also showcases his talents on the hardwood, landing on the All-St. Clair County team this past season. He led the Blue Devils to a 5A Area 11 Championship by scoring 23 points in an upset win over top-seed Alexandria.

While he is a consensus three-star prospect, the recruiting services have varying opinions of Dozier. On3 lists him as a high-three star with an 89 grade, which is just shy of four-star status, and ranks him as the 50th-best wide receiver in the class.

Rivals and 247Sports aren’t quite as high on him, as he’s more of a middle-tier three-star on each service. Dozier has a 5.6 rating from Rivals and 86 grade from 247Sports, resulting in an .8750 score in the 247Sports Composite — which ranks 77th among wide receivers.

See my breakdown of Dozier here:

Arkansas Football Continues Raid of Alabama

With the commitment of Dozier, the Razorbacks now have a trio of players from the state of Alabama in their 2023 recruiting class. He joins defensive backs Dallas Young (Gardendale High) and TJ Metcalf (Pinson Valley High).

Prior to that group, Arkansas hadn’t landed a player from the Yellowhammer State since 2019, when it signed running back A’Montae Spivey out of Central High in Phenix City.

The three players actually equals the number it landed over a seven-year span from 2013-19, with the only other Alabama products signing with the Razorbacks during that time being safety Myles Mason in 2018 and quarterback Daulton Hyatt in 2017.

It’s the first time since 2012 — when they signed defensive linemen Darius Philon and JaMichael Winston — that the Razorbacks landed multiple Alabama natives in the same class and the first time during the modern recruiting rankings era that they landed three.

You have to go all the way back to 1996 to find the last instance of that happening and it was a pretty memorable group: defensive end Quenton Caver (Anniston High), running back Chrys Chukwuma (Sidney Lamar High in Montgomery) and linebacker Jamel Harris (Wicksburg High in Newton).

Caver became a first-team All-SEC linebacker in 2000, Chukwuma broke the UA freshman rushing record in 1996 and is still 15th on the school’s all-time rushing list with 2,168 yards, and Harris was the Razorbacks’ second-leading tackler as a senior in 1999.

The push into Alabama makes sense for the Razorbacks, as it is within the SEC footprint and regularly produces a significant number of high-level athletes.

Over the last five recruiting cycles, the state has averaged 12.4 four-star or better recruits per year, according to Rivals. During that same time frame, Arkansas produced 11 total players of that caliber.

None of the three Alabama natives they have in the 2023 class fall into that category, but the Razorbacks are steadily building a pipeline into the state and could start pushing for some of the same recruits Alabama and Auburn are also after.

Arkansas appears to be in a good spot for four-star offensive lineman Vysen Lang from Pike Road, Ala., who is also being pursued by the Tigers. He would potentially be the fourth Alabama native in the Razorbacks’ 2023 class. It’s still very early, but they also seem to be in the mix for top-100 defensive end Kavion Henderson from Leeds, Ala., in the Class of 2024.

Head coach Sam Pittman is trying to pull off something basketball coach Eric Musselman has already done in getting a top prospect to leave Alabama and come to Arkansas. Musselman did it with two-time Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year Barry Dunning Jr. in the most recent signing class.

Razorbacks Recover at Receiver

A couple of months ago, Anthony Evans III dealt Arkansas’ 2023 class a significant blow by backing off his long-time pledge to the Razorbacks.

He was rated a three-star prospect at the time of his commitment, but started to pick up steam with some big-time offers from the likes of Georgia and Oklahoma, decommitted to explore his options and was promptly elevated to four-star status.

That left the Razorbacks with no wide receivers in the class. It remained that way for a couple of months before they shocked the recruiting world by reeling in four-star athlete Micah Tease from Tulsa. Although he could be a defensive back in college, he was recruited by Arkansas as a wide receiver.

The addition of Dozier now gives the Razorbacks a pair of wide receivers for the 2023 class. It’s unclear how many they want, but they are still in contention for four-star Joshua Manning from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

He was originally set to commit earlier this month, but quickly postponed his announcement. Although Manning seemed to be trending toward Kansas State at the time, it’s now anyone’s guess as to where he ends up between the Wildcats, Arkansas, Iowa State and Missouri.

The incoming receivers, whether it stays at two or grows via traditional recruiting or the transfer portal, will join what is shaping up to be a pretty talented group. Players like Ketron Jackson Jr., Bryce Stephens, Isaiah Sategna, Quincey McAdoo and Sam Mbake will still be on campus in 2023, plus Warren Thompson and Jadon Haselwood could also potentially return.

See Davion Dozier in action:

Arkansas Recruiting Class of 2023

  • TE Shamar Easter — Ashdown (Ark.)
  • TE Jaden Hamm — Eudora (Kan.)
  • OL Joey Su’a — Bentonville (Ark.)
  • CB Dallas Young — Gardendale (Ala.)
  • DE Kaleb James — Mansfield (Texas)
  • TE Luke Hasz — Bixby (Okla.)
  • DE Quincy Rhodes — North Little Rock (Ark.)
  • LB Carson Dean — Carrollton (Texas) Hebron
  • OL Luke Brown — Paris (Tenn.) Henry County
  • QB Malachi Singleton — Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb
  • RB Isaiah Augustave — Naples (Fla.)
  • S Christian Ford — McKinney (Texas)
  • DT Ian Geffrard — Mableton (Ga.) Whitefield Academy
  • CB RJ Johnson — McDonough (Ga.) Eagle’s Landing Christian
  • LB Alex Sanford — Oxford (Miss.)
  • DT Stephen Johnson — Fayetteville (Ga.) Whitewater
  • S TJ Metcalf — Pinson (Ala.) Valley
  • ATH Dylan Hasz — Bixby (Okla.)
  • OL Paris Patterson — East St. Louis (Ill.)
  • ATH Micah Tease — Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington
  • CB Jaylon Braxton — Frisco (Texas) Lone Star
  • LB Brad Spence — Houston (Texas) Klein Forest
  • WR Davion Dozier — Moody (Ala.)

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More coverage of Arkansas recruiting from BoAS…

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