Arkansas’ Coaches closing in on Class of 2019

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By Otis Kirk

Arkansas’ coaches will be on the road on Monday and the remainder of the week seeing Class of 2019 prospects.

The in-home visits actually started today with Justin Stepp seeing Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy wide receiver Shamar Nash. 

Nash committed to Arkansas on June 9. In eight games in 2018, Nash caught nine passes for 123 yards and a touchdown with one kickoff return for 14 yards. IMG Academy is a stacked team and no one particular player piles up huge stats. They had 10 different players catch passes and no one recording more than 13. 

While the big news is Arkansas seeing former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant on Thursday he won’t be the only key prospect seen that day. John Scott and Steve Caldwell will see Douglasville (Ga.) Douglas County defensive end Mataio Soli that day. Soli had a monster 2018. He finished with 84 tackles, including 60 unassisted, 29 tackles for loss, 22.5 sacks, four quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and a recovered one. He committed to the Hogs on June 9 and is the son of former Razorback Junior Soli.

Bryant has narrowed his decision down to Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State, North Carolina and Missouri. He will announce his decision on Dec. 4 which also happens to be Chad Morris’ birthday. At Clemson, Bryant completed 310 of 469 passes for 3,333 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed 257 times for 987 yards and 16 touchdowns. In four seasons this season before opting to redshirt and transfer, Bryant completed 35 of 53 passes for 456 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed 30 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns this season. North Carolina fired Coach Larry Fedora today so they are likely out of the running. 

Pulaski Academy tight end Hudson Henry will face Little Rock Christian on Friday night in the Class 5A state championship game. Henry committed to Arkansas on Oct. 11. Thus far in 2018, Henry has caught 86 passes for 1,207 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Hogs are also recruiting wide receiver John David White to be a preferred walk-on. He has caught 77 passes for 1,532 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. Little Rock Christian is led by Justice Hill, who has signed with Arkansas to play basketball and will enroll at midterm. 

Morris will do an in-home visit with Putnam City (Okla.) defensive lineman Collin Clay on Monday. Clay committed to the Hogs on July 26. Clay attended several games at Arkansas including the LSU contest.

Arkansas’ Mark Smith is trying to make a clean sweep at Mansfield (Texas) Legacy. He will see a trio of prospects there this week including defensive linemen Taurean Carter and Enoch Jackson, both are committed to the Hogs, as well as safety Jalen Catalon. Catalon hasn’t made a public commitment to any school at this time. 

Catalon was injured in the season opener against Jenks (Okla.) and missed the remainder of the season. Catalon completed 5 of 8 passes for 70 yards and one interception while also rushing three times for 22 yards and a touchdown in the season opener. Carter played in eight games finishing with 27 tackles, eight tackles for loss, five sacks, one forced fumble and a blocked field goal. Jackson finished with 23 tackles, seven tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles and a recovered one.

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