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story.lead_photo.caption Dorian Gerald

— All the 2018 Arkansas football defensive newcomers have arrived on campus with the lone exception of highly regarded defensive end Dorian Gerald of Santa Clarita (Calif.) College of the Canyons.

Gerald (6-3, 260 pounds), the nation's top-ranked 2018 junior college defensive end, chose Arkansas over co-finalist Texas A&M as well as Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisville and others and tweeted earlier this week that he expected to arrive in Fayetteville in early August.

"I officially finish my classes here at COC Aug. 1st and will arrive on campus in Fayetteville August 2nd. Sorry I kept y'all waiting! But everything is good! Just have to finish up classes, I'm working as hard as i can on and off the field #WPS #HAMMERDOWN #GodSpeed"

I caught up with Gerald via telephone Wednesday afternoon, and he stressed he had been working hard this summer in preparation for the start of preseason camp, which begins with everyone reporting Aug. 2, per head coach Chad Morris.

"I've been getting up at 6:30 every morning to run and work out," Gerald said. "It certainly would have been beneficial to have been out there earlier, but Arkansas needed me to take a couple of extra classes, and so that's what I did.

"But as far as conditioning, there's nothing that I would be doing there that I haven't been able to get done here. I'm in great shape and will be ready to go from Day One."

Gerald, who joins Independence (Kan.) Community College running back Rakeem Boyd (6-0, 200) as the only two 2018 signees not on campus yet, had no major offers out of Florence, S.C., and chose to go the junior college route to enhance his status.

He did just that with 96 tackles and 22 sacks in his two seasons at College of the Canyons, including 42 stops and 10 sacks last season while being double-teamed.

"I didn't have many people that believed in me back in the day, but my family and I knew I could get to this place, and that's why I made the trip out to California, and it led me to this place and time," Gerald said. "I know this is my time and Arkansas is my place. They are going to get my all."

He is expected to make the biggest immediate impact of a four-man defensive end signing group that also includes prepsters Nick Fulwider, Courtre Alexander and Springdale's Isaiah Nichols, the latter two who enrolled in January.

"The coaches are depending on me to come in and help right away, and that's what I intend to do," Gerald said. "They don't bring junior college guys in to sit, and I'm not coming there to do that anyway."

Gerald uniquely announced his decision by biting into a cookie cake Feb. 9, two days after the national signing date.

He is expected to team with defensive linemen McTelvin "Sosa" Agim and defensive end Randy Ramsey as the squad's biggest threats to get to the quarterback.

"That's always the number one thing - get to the quarterback - but also to be where I am supposed to be when I am supposed to be," Gerald said. "I can't wait to get there and get going."

Sports on 07/12/2018

Print Headline: Gerald now expects to arrive in August

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