The NCAA contact period began Sunday and the University of Arkansas football coaching staff was on the road visiting prospects and will continue through the week before hosting official visits this weekend.
Coach Sam Pittman and special teams coordinator Scott Fountain made an in-home visit with long snapper commitment Eli Stein, 6-3, 215 pounds, 4.77 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Cambridge, Wis. and his family Sunday.
“It was a lot of fun,” Stein said. “It was nice to have the whole family here to meet them, and I’m really appreciative that they were willing to come all this way to visit us.”
The coaches arrived at about 1:30 p.m. and left at 2:45 p.m. The Steins made sure to celebrate Pittman’s 60th birthday, which was Sunday.
“Yeah, my dad made shrimp and crab. We sang him ‘Happy Birthday,’ and we had some balloons for him, too,” said Stein, who has said he expects to enroll in January.
Pittman, Fountain and tight ends coach Dowell Loggains made an in-home visit with tight end commitment Tyrus Washington later in the evening.
Washington, 6-4, 230, of Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County, had more than 20 scholarship offers from schools like South Carolina, Tennessee, Nebraska, Central Florida, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt, Kansas State and other programs before pledging to the Hogs in July.
Cornerback commitment Jaylen Lewis, 6-2, 175 of Brownsville (Tenn.) Haywood, said he is expecting Pittman, defensive coordinator Barry Odom and cornerbacks coach Sam Carter to visit him Wednesday.
“That means a lot to me that all the coaches coming and visiting me at once,” Lewis said.
Lewis and Washington also plan to enroll in January.
Arkansas impressed highly-regarded receiver Sam M’bake by showing up at his school and home Monday. Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and receivers coach Kenny Guiton visited his school, while Pittman and running backs coach Jimmy Smith joined Guiton for an in-home visit.
“They really showed that they genuinely want me,” M’bake said.
M’bake, 6-3, 205, of Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb, made an unofficial visit to Fayetteville for the Auburn game on Oct. 16. He said he plans to return for an official visit Friday with two of his uncles.
The coaches won over his mother Eisther during the in-home visit.
“They made my mom like it a lot and she hasn’t even been out there to see it [the campus],” M’bake said.
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network rates M’bake as a 4-star prospect.
He has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Florida State, Florida, Colorado, LSU, Penn State, Southern Cal and other schools.
Little Rock Parkview and Arkansas running back commitment James Jointer, 6-1, 210, also plans to arrive in Fayetteville on Friday for an official visit.
Linebackers coach Michael Scherer is expected to watch 2023 linebacker target Tackett Curtis of Many, La., play in Louisiana’s Class 2A title game on Dec. 10 should he and his teammates advance from Friday’s semifinal game.
Curtis, 6-2, 215, 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has amassed 40 scholarship offers from schools like Arkansas, LSU, Auburn, Clemson, Mississippi State, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Colorado and others.
An ESPN 4-star prospect who is rated as the No. 1 inside linebacker in the nation for the 2023 class, Curtis visited the Hogs in June and attended Arkansas’ 31-28 victory over Mississippi State on Nov. 6.
Scherer also visited Many to see Tigers’ 73-28 rout of Bunkie on Oct. 29.
Offensive line pledge Patrick Kutas, 6-5, 280 ,of Memphis Christian Brothers, is expecting to host Pittman and offensive line coach Cody Kennedy for an in-home visit Tuesday.
E’Marion Harris, an offensive line commitment, is also expecting to host Pittman and Kennedy for an in-home visit Thursday.
Harris, 6-7, 370, of Joe T. Robinson in Little Rock, is an ESPN 4-star recruit and rated as the No. 31 offensive tackle prospect in the nation. He plans to arrive in Fayetteville on Saturday for an official visit.
Pittman and Kennedy are also expected to visit offensive line pledge Andrew Chamblee on Thursday.
Chamblee, 6-7, 300, of Maumelle, is also an ESPN 4-star prospect who is rated as the No. 24 offensive tackle and the No. 234 overall prospect in the nation for the 2022 class.
With the unexpected departure of Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to Southern Cal, Arkansas made contact with at least two Sooner recruits.
ESPN 4-star athlete Gentry Williams, an Oklahoma commitment, said Razorbacks cornerbacks coach Sam Carter has reached out to him and defensive coordinator Barry Odom visited his school Monday.
Williams, 6-0, 170, of Tulsa Washington, made an official visit to Fayetteville in June. He narrowed his list of schools to Oklahoma, Southern Cal, Missouri and Florida before his pledge to the Sooners.
ESPN 4-star linebacker Kobie Mckinzie reopened his recruitment from Oklahoma on Sunday night after learning of Riley’s departure.
Mckinzie, 6-3, 225, of Lubbock (Texas) Cooper, said he and Scherer were texting each other Monday morning.