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THE RECRUITING GUY: Hogs making inroads with state's younger recruits

by Richard Davenport | July 11, 2021 at 2:19 a.m.

The 2022 in-state football class is one of the deepest Arkansas has produced in years, with 12 prospects receiving scholarship offers from the University of Arkansas so far.

The 2023 class has seen Ashdown tight end Shamar Easter, Jacksonville running back Darien Bennett and receiver DeAndra Burns earn offers from the Hogs.

Arkansas has already extended offers to two 2024 in-state prospects. Malvern offensive lineman Vinny Winters was the first in his class to receive an offer from the Hogs on Feb. 1.

Winters, 6-4, 309 pounds, caught the attention of observers with his physical maturity during Arkansas' camp on June 25. The trip to Fayetteville was his first to visit Coach Sam Pittman and his program.

He had an offer from Memphis prior to the one from the Razorbacks. Arkansas State was his third offer on Feb. 26. He has recorded 5.2 seconds in the 40-yard dash and a 25-inch vertical leap.

Winter's great feet and athleticism will likely earn 20-plus scholarship offers before his high school career is over.

Hot Springs Lakeside running back Braylen Russell, 6-2, 225, received an offer from Razorbacks after catching the eye Pittman and Arkansas running backs coach Jimmy Smith during camp on June 20.

He recorded a handheld 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the camp.

While plenty others will emerge over the next three years, here's others in the class worth watching:

Bentonville West offensive lineman Lane Jeffcoat measured 6-8 3/8 and weighed 316 pounds this summer while attending camps at Arkansas and Florida State.

His size alone automatically attracts the attention of college coaches, but Wolverines Coach Bryan Pratt said he believes Jeffcoat has a chance to be special before he leaves high school.

Jeffcoat, who turned 15 years old in January, wears a size 18 shoe. He completed his season with the freshman team before being moved to varsity and playing snaps against rival Bentonville. The weight room will be Jeffcoat's best friend over the next three years.

Lonoke has two very promising 2024 prospects in quarterback Bradon Allen and offensive tackle Chauncey Johnson.

Allen, 6-2, 190, started in week four for the varsity and led the Jackrabbits to the Class 4A playoffs. He passed for 836 yards and 11 touchdowns on 60 completions and had 92 carries for 1,110 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He's capable of throwing the ball about 70 yards and also has above average speed.

Johnson, 6-5, 305, shows nice feet to go along with his frame. He started the last three games for varsity. He should get his fair share of looks from major colleges. Arkansas and Memphis have reached out to Lonoke Coach Harry Wright about the pair.

Little Rock Christian quarterback Walker White attended camps at Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, TCU, Virginia, SMU and Central Arkansas, and he earned his first scholarship offers from the Golden Hurricanes and Bears while showing well at other camps including Arkansas.

Walker, 6-3, 217, comes from an athletic family with two older brothers being Razorbacks. John David White is a redshirt sophomore receiver at Arkansas, while Zac White is a sophomore infielder-outfielder on the baseball team.

His brother Cooper was an outstanding receiver for Pulaski Academy last season and will be a student at Arkansas in the fall.

White's great-grandfather, Harold "Greasy" Rees, played football for the Razorbacks; his grandfather John Rees was a receiver from 1968-70; and his uncle John Aaron Rees played from 2005-2008. His father David played golf at Arkansas in the early 1990s.

White showed nice arm strength and accuracy while working with Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles during the June 17 Arkansas camp. His speed gives him a chance to be a dual-threat prospect in the 2024 class.

Pulaski Academy's Kel Busby is another very promising quarterback.

Busby, 6-2, 185, is also a right-handed pitcher with an offer from Razorback baseball. He's hit the high 80s on the radar gun and has been told he hit 90 at least one time during the season.

He attended Arkansas' prospect camp on June 20 and recorded 4.75 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a 9-foot broad jump and 30-inch vertical leap.

Bruins Coach Antony Lucas, a former Razorbacks receiver, said he believes Busby could develop into a 4- or 5-star prospect. In baseball this season, he posted a 5-2 record, finished with an ERA of 0.96 and had 65 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings while opponents hit .132 against him.

Pine Bluff receiver Courtney Crutchfield, 6-1, 170, started six games for the Zebras and caught 29 passes for 536 yards and 5 touchdowns. He camped at Arkansas and Alabama this summer.

He also started for the school's basketball team.

Hot Springs athlete TJ Brogdon, 5-11, 160, had more than 900 total yards for the Trojans' junior varsity team. He put on a show at Arkansas' 7-on-7 event in June, according to Coach Darrell Burnett.

His explosiveness and ability to make things happen in the open field will make him a big-play threat for the Trojans in the fall.

Little Rock Parkview Coach Brad Bolding is high on defensive lineman Alex Martin and said he believes he can be the school's next Division I prospect.

Martin, 6-3, 290, played for Bryant's junior varsity squad last year before moving to Parkview.

Email Richard Davenport at

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