UA recruiting notebook: 2022 & 2023 in-state Hog targets raise national profiles


LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Razorbacks and head coach Eric Musselman certainly made the in-state class of 2020 a priority as evidenced by the four national Top 100 prospects who are now in Hog uniforms preparing for their freshman seasons.

And the same can be said of Musselman and his staff’s pursuit of 2022 and 2023 in-state targets, although the Hogs have some formidable competition in their recruiting endeavors. Here’s the latest …

* 2023 Arkansas offer Bryson Warren (6-2 combo guard, Little Rock Central) had a big weekend playing up on the 17U level at the Elite 32 grassroots basketball event in Spartanburg, S.C., and he parlayed that into a scholarship offer from Auburn on Monday.

Warren averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.3 rebounds over the weekend going up against older, more experienced players, many of which are highly regarded nationally. was first to report that Warren spoke with Arkansas assistant coach Corey Williams on Saturday night.

“Well, he (Williams) was watching my game and he talked about how I was doing good and really liked how I was playing especially since I was playing up 17u and how he really wants me up there in a Hog uniform,” Williams told earlier in the week. “He said he liked my game and that I was smooth with the ball and a smooth operator in general with a high IQ.”

Warren said he’ll have another call with Williams and Musselman “later this week.”

Warren now holds four offers from SEC programs — Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt — to go with a high-major offer from Oklahoma State. He said he’s recently talked to coaches from all of those schools.

“I’ve had some great conversations recently with Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Auburn, OSU after my weekend tournament at the Elite32 in South Carolina,” he said. “Arkansas is one of my top school choices!”

A source shared with the circumstances that led to Warren’s Auburn offer.

“Auburn watched (via live-stream) … a 5-star (prospect) that they are recruiting and they were able to see Bryson, also,” the source said.

Bryson Warren helped North Little Rock win the 6A-Central regular-season title in 2019-20 before transferring to defending 6A state co-champion Little Rock Central for his sophomore season in ’20-21.

* 2022 Arkansas offer Joseph Pinion (6-6 wing, Morrilton, composite national No. 90 / 4-star prospect) has a long list of high-major offers, and on Tuesday was the first to report that Duke has inquired about the talented junior. Specifically, it was Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer who expressed interest. In addition to the Hogs, he holds offers from Kansas, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Creighton, DePaul, Murray State, and others.

Multiple sources have confirmed that Arkansas coaches are either in daily or every-other-day contact with the quintet of 2022 in-state Hog offers — Pinion; Nick Smith, Jr. (6-4 combo guard, Sylvan Hills, compoiste national No. 42 / 4-star prospect); Derrian Ford (6-3 combo guard, Magnolia, national No. 37 / 4-star prospect according to; Kel’el Ware (6-11 forward / center, North Little Rock, national No. 63 / 4-star prospect according to; and Javion Guy-King (6-5 wing, Little Rock Mills). All five have multiple high-major offers.

* 2022 Arkansas interest Creed Williamson (6-8 forward, Little Rock Christian Academy) recently told that coaches from Kansas reached out to him. Williamson has seen his Arkansas recruitment pick up since early July, and he had a facetime meeting with Musselman and Williams in early August. In addition to the Hogs and Jayhawks he is receiving inerest from St. John’s, Missouri, Michigan State, Purdue, Southern Miss, and Elon. He holds Division 1 offers from Arkansas Pine-Bluff and Oral Roberts. Williamson — he averaged a double-doulbe as a sophomore at LRCA (14 points and 10 rebounds) — is the son of Razorbacks icon Corliss Williamson, the Russellville native who was a two-time SEC Player of the Year, a two-time All American, and the Most Outstanding Player at the 1993-94 Final Four when he led Arkansas to its only national championship in basketball.

* 2023 Arkansas interest Layden Blocker (6-1 point guard, Little Rock Christian Academy) had “two great conversations with Baylor and Virginia Tech,” according to a source. “Talked to VT (on Tuesday), Baylor last week or so.” Blocker reports a high-major offer from TCU with additional D1 offers from Tulane, UCA, Oral Roberts, and Southern Miss. Williams watched Blocker practice at LRCA in the fall of 2019, and Blocker attended Arkansas’ Red-White game at Barnhill Arena in October 2019.

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