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story.lead_photo.caption 2022 D-lineman Nico Davillier. Photo courtesy of Jeff Rochelle.

Maumelle junior defensive lineman Nico Davillier has 11 scholarship offers, but he might have more if not for the coronavirus pandemic.

The NCAA announced a dead period March 13 that led to cancellations of the spring evaluation period and college summer camps. Both would've given prospects the chance to work out in front of college coaches.

The virus also is forcing the cancellation of high school games across the nation, which reduces game video for coaches to evaluate

Davillier, 6-5, 275 pounds, has offers from the University of Arkansas, Georgia, Auburn, Penn State, Missouri, Tennessee and others. He and Maumelle have played four games while having to cancel three others.

"It's pretty difficult. You just have to stay positive, and we just have to keep on working hard," Davillier said. "It's hard not to be able to get a lot of film this year because we've happened to miss three games."

He said dealing with the pandemic has taught him life lessons.

"This has taught me a lot," he said. "I'm learning every day. You have to start thinking about life after football. And academic-wise, you have to stay on your grades. I've been doing a lot of work."

ESPN rates Davillier a 4-star prospect, the No. 14 defensive tackle and No. 265 overall recruit for the 2022 class. He's also been in contact with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Clemson and Louisiana Tech.

Davillier said he's communicating with Razorbacks Coach Sam Pittman, defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc and executive director of recruiting Joshua Thompson.

He and LeBlanc communicate about three times a week.

"I like him. He's cool," he said. "He's always reaching out to me. I like his personality. He's a real good coach."

Sept. 1 was the first day college coaches could directly contact prospects. Before that, coaches had to contact a recruit's coach and request the prospect call them.

Davillier usually talks with about four college coaches a day via Twitter or text messages.

"I'm always on my phone talking to coaches all throughout the day," he said.

As a sophomore, he recorded 22 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. He also plays basketball for the Hornets, averaging 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds a game last season.

In four games this season, he's recorded 20 tackles, 5 tackles for loss and a sack. Originally from New Orleans, Davillier moved to Arkansas at the age of 2 because of Hurricane Katrina. He grew up rooting for LSU and Arkansas.

He's been impressed with Arkansas' play this season.

"They're improving a lot. Every game they're getting better," Davillier said.

When watching the Hogs, he focuses on the defensive line.

"I watch the defensive line a lot. They're still growing, but they're pretty good," he said.

Some prospects can get the big head during the recruiting process, but Davillier is attempting to stay grounded.

"I just try and be myself and keep doing the same things I did before I had the offers and the attention from the coaches," Davillier said.

Email Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com.

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