LITTLE ROCK — Standout Little Rock Parkview running back James Jointer committed to Arkansas at D1 on Saturday.
Following the announcement in front of family and friends, Jointer talked about how it feels to now be a Razorback.
“I definitely feel a lot of weight off my shoulders,” Jointer said. “My teammates, Dax and all those guys making sure I don’t forget about the Hogs. You saw my mom’s reaction so it’s pretty big trying to keep a secret from her. But definitely knowing my homestate recruited me the hardest is a big blessing. I definitely feel good now. I’m a Hog now and I can rep all my gear publicly and so it feels good.”
Jointer, 6-0 1/2, 211, said he went to great lengths to hide his commitment from his mother.
“I was actually telling her I was committed to another university,” Jointer said with a wide smile. “So it was kind of like when she pulled up, ‘oh you’re committing today?’ She was crying emotionally. It was hard and then I had to tell her we were going to a team meeting. So it was a secret. Obviously we made it here so it was a big blessing, big day for us.”
While Jointer kept his commitment to his mom silent, he didn’t keep it from Arkansas. He talked about when he told the coaches at Arkansas.
“Two or three week’s ago,” Jointer said.
Jointer’s eyes lit up when Jimmy Smith, Arkansas’ running back coach, was mentioned.
“That’s my guy,” Jointer said. “He calls me everyday. He might call me while I’m eating breakfast, eating lunch or eating dinner. Or sometimes he might call me before practice or after practice, but I’m gonna hear from him two to three times a day. He recruited my family as well. Checking in with my brother, my mom and asking about how my grandmother was doing. They all stuck out to me about Coach Smith. We have a really good relationship.”
When Jointer was offered by the Razorbacks he called it a dream. Now that it has come true he talked about the dream coming true.
“Definitely dreams to reality,” Jointer said. “Committing to the Hogs. Getting an offer in the ninth grade was pretty big and then getting a re-offer with the new staff was pretty big. So I definitely think that was a sign from God that hey, this is your home. It’s a big blessing.”
He will team with Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove running back Rashod Dubinion in this class and that idea excites Jointer.
“It’s a one-two punch,” Jointer said. “You know DMac (Darren McFadden) and Felix (Jones) was good one-two punch. Competition will be high I can say that. But definitely a one-two punch if we’ve got to do that. I haven’t talked to Rashod yet, but I’m pretty now we’ll stay in touch now that he knows I’m committed.”
Jointer now plans to turn recruiter for the Hogs.
“I’ve got a lot of treats for the Hog country,” Jointer said. “I’ve got recruits from all over the state and out of state talking about being Hogs. Now I’m really gonna presss the issue now to move the class up.”
Jointer is feeling positive about the direction of the program at Arkansas under Sam Pittman.
“I’m feeling very good,” Jointer said. “And with me being one of the top guys in Arkansas being able to help make the class rise and everything it’s a big blessing. I think the Hogs are headed in the right direction. I don’t think, I know they’re headed in the right direction.”
Arkansas went from winning one SEC game in three years to winning three under Pittman in his first year.
“That was really impressive,” Jointer said. “The way Coach Pittman coming in the middle of a pandemic. Can barely talk to players and practice full contact for just a little bit of time. Just knowing if he was going to be able to coach his first season at Arkansas. That was pretty impressive. That was a big part of it. I have a lot of faith in Coach Pittman. That’s my guy.”
Both quarterback Landon Rogers and tight end Erin Outley were there to support Jointer on Saturday. They were all teammates at Parkview. Outley and Rogers signed with the Hogs in December in the Class of 2021.
“Oh yeah, we’ve definitely got some other young players I think may get attention from the Hogs,” Jointer said. “Even one of my teammates now, (Class of 2022 safety) Jaylon White recently offered by Ole Miss. I could see him, I’m definitely going to try to recruit him as soon as the Hogs offer him. But definitely the ‘View to the Hill’ becoming a thing now.”
Jacksonville Class of 2023 running back and linebacker Darien Bennett was at Parkview until this season when he transferred. Bennett is another prospect Jointer plans to work on.
“Oh yeah, Darien Bennett I have been knowing before we started playing together at Parkview,” Jointer said. “He’s like a younger brother to me. He checks in from time to time. We work out together some so definitely I’ll be trying to recruit him over as well. You know you can’t run from competition. Especially somebody that is like family so it will be something I look into recruiting him to Arkansas.”
Jointer will be watching the Hogs in the fall in addition trying to finish his Parkview career on a good note. The Patriots were 9-2 last year.
“I will definitely be hogged out,” Jointer said. “Hopefully we can get up and come to some games. If not I will be the loudest in the house.”
DeWitt tight end Dax Courtney has been an active recruiter for the Hogs since making his commitment. Jointer was asked from one to Dax where he ranks himself as a recruiter?
“Right now, I’m gotta say I’m probably a three right now,” Jointer said. “But by tonight, settles in I’m a Hog, I think Dax might have to catch up to me.”
Click here for his commitment story from Saturday
Click here for his highlights