FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas only hosted one recruit this weekend, but he was a priority target after a successful career at Pitt.
Defensive end John Morgan III, 6-2, 265, arrived in Arkansas late Friday night and then left Sunday afternoon. The standout gave high visits to his Arkansas visit.
“It was really nice,” Morgan said. “I got time to spend with coach Glitch (Keith Jones), coach Deke (Adams) and I like coach (Sam) Pittman a lot. He’s a great guy. He talked about the new DC hire. The guy came from UCF and he told me they want me to be an integral part of the defense. They want me to play the jack position and get after the quarterback and really change the program around.”
Morgan talked about the highlight of the visit.
“Honestly, getting around the coaches,” Morgan said. “It’s a welcoming family here. You rar ely see that at these schools. They bring guys in and they only have one year but they show you love regardless if it’s one year or five years. It’s the same type of people and that’s really big.”
Morgan talked about how the visit may help him when it comes time to make that final decision on his next destination.
“Man, it’s pretty high right now,” Morgan said. “I really like this place. I can definitely see myself playing in the Arkansas red.”
So Arkansas pointed out their success with transfers?
“Yes indeed,” Morgan said. “They showed me list of the guys that came and made a lot of plays. They contributed really big so that plays a big part of it.”
Since you have just one year remaining, did they specifically show you the success of linebacker Drew Sanders and wide receivers Jadon Haselwood and Matt Landers who were here just one season?
“Yes they talked about Drew Sanders coming from Alabama and being that guy,” Morgan said. “That was big for them. They see me stepping in that role and being that same type of player for them.”
Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Cam Ball was his player host. The two hit it off well during the weekend.
“That’s my guy,” Morgan said. “It’s a crazy, it’s a small world. He knows a lot of my teammates that play at Pitt being from Atlanta. It was good to catchup with him definitely.”
Morgan arrived at Arkansas from an official visit at another SEC school.
“I came from Missouri Thursday and Friday,” Morgan said. “This is a little new for me man going back-to-back like that, but I understand the rivalry. The battle of the line they kind of prefaced me on what that would look like. It’s definitely a good opportunity.”
Will your decision come down to those two schools or is there someone else among the 10 offers since entering the portal under consideration?
“At this point I really don’t know,” Morgan said. “I feel like I might visit Tennessee and Colorado. I think that will be one of my two at the end. One more might sneak in there, but outside of it that’s pretty much it.”
Morgan talked about a timeline for the upcoming decision.
“Probably make it after the national championship,” Morgan said. “Just to know that’s the weekend a lot of schools will be looking for. Probably sometime after the national championship is probably when I make my decision.”
Morgan’s parents accompanied him on the trip. Morgan talked about how they liked Arkanseas.
“They like it a lot,” Morgan said. “They only want what is best for me and they know what type of player I am and they know this is the type of stage I want to be on. Whatever comes out it they want to put me in that position.”
In 2022, Morgan had 19 tackles, 13 solo, five for loss, three sacks and forced two fumbles. In his career, Morgan had 72 tackles, 49 solo, 23 for loss, 14.5 sacks, two pass breakups and three forced fumbles.
In high school, Morgan played at Upper Marlboro (Md.) DeMatha Catholic. Since entering the portal, Morgan has gained offers from Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Colorado, Indiana, Memphis, Buffalo, Appalachian State and Akron.
Morgan’s recruitment even added a funny twist to those tracking airplanes. Arkansas was in Baltimore to see him for an in-home recruiting visit this week when many assumed they were there to see Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Williams. It led to Pittman admitting the Razorbacks had never approached Williams.
Arkansas has added North Carolina quarterback Jacolby Criswell, 6-1, 205, Florida offensive guard Joshua Braun, 6-6, 335, and Texas A&M-Commerce wide receiver Andrew Armstrong, 6-5, 189. Criswell was a standout quarterback at Morrilton before heading to North Carolina.
The Razorbacks will face Kansas in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 28, with kickoff at 4:30 p.m. and televised on ESPN.