By Otis Kirk
Arkansas signed 22 players early counting SMU transfer quarterback Ben Hicks. That leaves seven spots for the Class of 2019.
The Hogs have five commitments with three considered solid. The other two the Razorbacks are hoping to sign them, but other schools are also involved. In addition, the Hogs are hoping to add two linebackers who haven’t committed to a school yet and are still taking visits as well.
Arkansas feels good about Pulaski Academy tight end Hudson Henry, Warren wide receiver Treylon Burks and Mansfield (Texas) Legacy safety Jalen Catalon.
Here’s a look at who could fill the other four spots in the Class of 2019.
A’Montae Spivey, RB, Phenix City (Ala.) Central
Spivey committed to Arkansas on Aug. 6. He officially visited Ole Miss this past weekend and now the Hogs are in a battle with the Rebels for him. Spivey will host the head coaches from both the schools this week. Arkansas’ Chad Morris will get the last shot on Friday. Matt Luke will reportedly go in earlier this week. Morris sent his entire offensive staff to see Spivey on Jan. 14. The head coach can only get one in-home visit so Morris waited until this week. Jeff Traylor and others at Arkansas have stayed in constant contact as much as NCAA rules allow with Spivey.
When Arkansas Offensive Staff comes to visit!! Enjoyed all the coaches!!
Arkansas to Bama!!
🐗🐗🐗🐗#WPS@_AS24__ @CoachTraylor @ArRecruitingGuy pic.twitter.com/MUM27ccMVw— Lateisha Floyd (@footballmom_77) January 14, 2019
Arkansas needs Spivey since the four running backs on scholarship are one senior and three juniors. So it’s very important the Hogs can add Spivey to this class. As a senior, he helped his team to the state title. He rushed 179 times for 1,335 yards and 17 touchdowns while also catching 10 passes for 124 yards.
Adonis Otey, CB, Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman
Otey committed to the Hogs on Oct. 1. He took an official visit to USC this past weekend and now will see Ole Miss this weekend. His teammate, wide receiver Trey Knox, signed with Arkansas on Dec. 19 and enrolled at midterm. Otey opted to not sign early so he could take some visits. As a senior, he spent most of his time on offense seeing only spot duty on defense. He finished with five tackles and one interception. On offense, he completed 8 of 14 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, rushed 65 times for 667 yards and eight touchdowns while also catching 13 passes for 380 yards and five touchdowns. He also returned some kickoffs and punts.
Lakia Henry, LB, Dodge City (Kan.) Community College
He was once committed to Tennessee, but opted to open up his recruiting. In addition to the Vols, he has been to Florida State, Arkansas and Ole Miss, where he visited this past weekend at same time Spivey did. This weekend he will head to Austin to see the University of Texas. Henry is a key target of Arkansas and one who they feel could make an instant impact at a position of need. As a sophomore, Henry had 77 tackles, including 50 solo, three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
Chris Russell, LB, Dyersburg (Tenn.)
This talented standout was at Arkansas this past weekend for an official visit. He had visited Texas A&M two weekends prior to that. He will finish up at Tennessee this weekend. Russell is capable of making an immediate impact in the SEC. John Chavis is recruiting both Russell and Henry extremely hard. Hoping to add them to early signee Zach Zimos. As a senior, Russell had 112 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hurries, seven sacks, two interceptions, three pass breakups, four forced fumbles and two recovered ones. On offense, Russell carried 58 times for 776 yards and 16 touchdowns while also catching five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. He told this reporter on Sunday he will make his decision before Feb. 6, but won’t announce it until then.
If Arkansas can close with this four and hold the other three as expected to go with the 22 signed early it will be, on paper, one of the best classes in Arkansas’ history.