FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas signed 22 football recruits and all but four of them are scheduled to enroll and begin classes in January.
Sam Pittman obviously has recruited for many years and has seen the landscape of prospects enrolling early change dramatically.
“You know what I’ve learned as a coach is that it’s a lot about the board,” Pittman said. “It’s a lot about available scholarships, how many you have left. When you’re sitting here looking at 17-19 coming in early, you have to have those amount of scholarships available obviously. But I’m enjoying that part of the job. I remember I had Andrew Thomas at Georgia, he got in at June and he started — some guys get it a little faster, and he didn’t have any fallacies. He was strong, athletic and all of those things.
“But you get a guy in spring ball, you have a chance. You have a chance to play. Certainly the ones that are ready, we’ll get ready. The ones that aren’t, hopefully we can get them on some type of special teams and help us through there. I can remember, I don’t think it was too many years ago when if you got 1, you got 2 that graduated at Christmas, it was kind of a big deal. Now, I know it’s at least 17. I don’t know the number, I’ve been really, really busy today. But I think it’s between 17-19, and the number certainly can grow. You bring in 20 guys that you bring in the spring, you’re losing 20-something, you have a chance to continue to get better.”
The four recruits who won’t be at Arkansas at midterm are Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb four-star wide receiver Sam Mbake, 6-3, 205, Fayetteville four-star wide receiver Isaiah Sategna, 5-11, 175, Maumelle four-star defensive lineman Nico Davillier, 6-4, 275, and Memphis (Tenn.) Christian Brothers four-star offensive lineman Patrick Kutas, 6-5, 284.
With Arkansas losing three of its top wide receivers after this season it was important to get some help there. In addition to Mbake and Sategna, Arkansas also added former OU standout Jadon Haselwood, 6-3, 200, and Clarendon four-star Quincy McAdoo, 6-2, 175. Haselwood was a five-star recruit coming out of Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove High School where he played for Jimmy Smith, who now coaches the Arkansas running backs.
“I think if you look back at last year’s class, I think we hit on all three of those guys,” Pittman said. “They’re just young, but I think we hit on all three of those. I think they’re all three going to be really good players for us. You look at our board, we don’t have a lot of scholarship wide receivers playing ball for us that are going to come back next year. So obviously Coach Smith certainly was instrumental in Haselwood, but then you have Mbake, McAdoo, and certainly Sategna. Those guys I think are very talented, they’re all a little bit different. But we wanted to stay as big as we possibly could in length so we could win one-on-one contested balls, but Sategna was just so fast and, to be honest with you, very physical for his size and can win a one-on-one battle. In high school, he was winning them all the time. So, that was a big class for us too. Coach (Kenny) Guiton did a really good job with them and Kenny getting Haselwood was huge.”
Mbake was a silent commitment with Arkansas for awhile. He went public with his decision early on Wednesday and one thing he said was he liked how Arkansas used Treylon Burks. He also stated that at the conclusion of his official visit and also praised KJ Jefferson.
“I imagine a lot,” Pittman said of the Burks influence. “Obviously, not every one of them is going to be a slot receiver, but I think a lot. I think Burks’ numbers proved we’re willing to throw the football. With KJ, you have somebody who can throw the football. I think those are two of the biggest things kids look at is do you have someone that can get me the ball and are you willing to throw it around? Just the numbers alone this year on what Burks did, I do think that helped us, yes.”
Player Pos. HT WT Hometown High School / Previous School
^Anthony Brown DB 6-0 185 Milan, Tenn. Milan HS
^Andrew Chamblee OL 6-6 285 Maumelle, Ark. Maumelle HS
^Jordan Crook LB 6-0 225 Duncanville, Texas Duncanville HS
^Dax Courtney TE 6-6 210 Clarendon, Ark. Clarendon HS
Nico Davillier DL 6-4 275 Maumelle, Ark. Maumelle HS
^Rashod Dubinion RB 5-10 185 Ellenwood, Ga. Cedar Grove HS
^Max Fletcher P 6-5 190 Melbourne, Australia ProKick Australia
^Jadon Haselwood WR 6-3 200 Ellenwood, Ga. Cedar Grove HS / Oklahoma
^E’Marion Harris OL 6-7 370 Little Rock, Ark. Joe T. Robinson HS
^Eli Henderson OL 6-4 290 Duncan, S.C. Byrnes HS
^Kaden Henley LB 6-2 225 Springdale, Ark. Shiloh Christian HS
^JJ Hollingsworth DL 6-4 250 Greenland, Ark. Greenland HS
^James Jointer RB 6-0 205 Little Rock, Ark. Parkview HS
Patrick Kutas OL 6-5 284 Memphis, Tenn. Christian Brothers HS
^Landon Jackson DL 6-7 273 Texarkana, Texas Pleasant Grove HS / LSU
^Jaylen Lewis DB 6-0 175 Brownsville, Tenn. Haywood HS
Sam Mbake WR 6-3 205 Kennesaw, Ga. North Cobb HS
^Quincey McAdoo WR 6-2 175 Clarendon, Ark. Clarendon HS
^Mani Powell LB 6-3 225 Fayetteville, Ark. Fayetteville HS
Isaiah Sategna WR 5-11 175 Fayetteville, Ark. Fayetteville HS
^Eli Stein LS 6-3 215 Cambridge, Wisc. Cambridge HS
^Tyrus Washington TE 6-4 230 Leesburg, Ga. Lee County HS
^ Denotes early enrollee