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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas coach Sam Pittman speaks Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, during a press conference to discuss the early signing period at the Fred W. Smith Football Center on the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. ( Andy Shupe)

Arkansas has offered Ashdown receiver/tight end Shamar Easter, the first in-state class of 2023 recruit to receive an offer from the Razorbacks.

Easter said his family was happy about the offer.

"The family really wants me to go there because they don't want me to be too far," he said.

Easter, 6-5, 205 pounds, was recently named a top 10 prospect in the nation for his class. He has yet to play varsity football for the Panthers, but Ashdown Coach Matt Richardson has seen enough of him on the junior-high level to know he’s special.

“Big, long, athletic, as a football player he’s still raw,” Richardson said. “I haven’t had the chance to coach him yet. He’s moving up to me. He’s just God-gifted. He has big hands, big features that’s why on the highlight he some one-handed stuff."

Easter said he was tempted to commit after being told of the offer from Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman but plans to hold off.

"I could not believe it," Easter said. "Hard work pays off in the end."

Pittman talked up in-state prospects to Easter.

"He said that he wanted to get kids from Arkansas to come play," Easter said.

Richardson was student manager for the Razorbacks when former Arkansas great Matt Jones was playing quarterback.

"He can separate," Richardson said of Easter. "I was at Arkansas when Matt Jones was there. He’s deceptively fast. He doesn’t look like he’s leaving, but he walks off.”

College Football Today and Scout Trout Elite named Easter the No. 8 freshman prospect in the nation on March 24.

He has been compared to former Arkansas and current Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. Richardson forwarded some video of Easter to Sprinkle via Twitter.

“Sprinkle watched his video and said he’s a man amongst boys,” Richardson said.

Richardson said Easter is a better person than he is a football player. Easter received the Coleman Pearson character award as an eight grader. Perason was an eighth grader at Ashdown Junior High who contracted Eastern equine encephalitis from a mosquito bite and eventually passed away.

“When he won it, he walked over to Coleman’s little brother, Caleb, and he said, ‘Man, you should’ve gotten this. This is brother’s award,'" Richardson said. “And gave it to him.

“He’s a special kid....I’ve never not seen him smiling. He’s contagious. He’s fun to be around. He’s always smiling. He’s always happy.”

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