By Otis Kirk
Arkansas added 21 recruits in the early signing period and has six other prospects committed to sign in February.
In the class thus far, Arkansas has signed only one linebacker. The one, Richmond (Texas) Fort Bend Travis’ Zach Zimos, is a very good one, but Arkansas will be looking for another one in the late signing period.
They have had their eyes on Dodge City (Kan.) Community College’s Lakia Henry, 6-1, 225, for several months now. John Chavis is leading the recruiting charge to try and flip the Tennessee commitment. But Chavis isn’t alone, senior linebacker De’Jon Harris is involved which is a good sign considering Devin Bush and Gregory Brooks Jr. both from Louisiana just inked early with the Hogs. Harris was connected to both.
Wide receiver Mike Woods and Zimos were recently letting Henry know on Twitter he’s wanted at Arkansas when Harris sent them a tweet as well.
Henry visited Arkansas for the LSU game. He said with Harris returning for his senior season they want him to play the Will linebacker. At the time of the visit he admitted Arkansas was very nice. If you were to come, what would be the deciding factor?
“The relationships, it would probably be the relationships with the coaching staff,” Henry said. “That would probably be the biggest thing here. That would probably be the main thing that would get me here.”
What’s so good about the relationship with the coaching staff?
“Really it’s Chief,” Henry said. “The way Chief coaches the way coach (Chad) Morris is. They’re both passionate coaches. That’s really appealing.”
Surprised by the trip?
“Oh the facilities were nicer than what I thought they were going to be,” Henry said. “The facilities were real nice. Shoot man, the people were real nice. It was nice overall nice trip.”
At Dodge City this season, Henry finished with 77 tackles, including 50 unassisted, three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
As far as his lone linebacker signee to this point, Morris admitted he likes Zimos.
“Zach Zimos, a linebacker from Fort Bend Travis down in Houston area,: Morris said. “Big, tall rangy linebacker that has an opportunity to be effective on the pass rush. We’re excited about him.”
As a senior, Zimos had 98 tackles, including 80 unassisted, six tackles for loss, three quarterback hurries, two pass breakups, two recovered fumbles and a blocked punt.
In addition to Henry, Arkansas, Tennessee, Auburn and others are recruiting Dyersburg (Tenn.) High School’s Chris Russell, 6-2, 220. Morris acknowledged on Dec. 19 the Hogs are looking to add more at linebacker.
“Yeah, I definitely feel that we’ll sign a linebacker or two,” Morris said.