Northwest Arkansas remained in a deep freeze Wednesday with many schools still closed, but the weather didn't prevent three Fayetteville High School seniors from signing football letters-of-intent with Division I programs.
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Defensive Player of the Year Brooks Yurachek signed with Wake Forest while Kaylon Morris signed as a preferred walk-on with the University of Arkansas. Ronald "Deuce" Cooper also decided to remain in-state by signing with Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Brooks Yurachek is the son of University of Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek and Brooks' older brother, Jake, played for the Razorbacks. Hunter Yurachek is a Virginia native who began is administrative career in 1994 at Wake Forest as an assistant director of marketing and promotions.
Wake Forest is a strong academic school and its football program is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference that plays in the same Atlantic Division as Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville. The Demon Deacons finished 8-5 with a bowl win over Missouri after coach Dave Clawson led Wake Forest to an 11-3 record and Top 15 ranking in 2021.
"I really loved my visit to Wake Forest and the culture of winning coach Clawson is building," said Yurachek, who led Fayetteville with 109 tackles as a senior. "My dad told me a lot about Wake Forest when he worked there and we have a lot of family back on the east coast, which made this an easy decision for me."
Morris will be able to pursue his dream as a Division I player after a fantastic season where he caught 100 passes for 1,625 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Morris will be reunited at Arkansas with Isaiah Sategna, his former high school teammate who played briefly as a freshman with the Hogs while battling a leg injury.
Cooper made 55 tackles and intercepted a pass against Rogers Heritage while playing cornerback and safety for the Bulldogs. He's excited about the changes at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which hired Alonzo Hampton as head coach in December. Hampton is a Warren native who previously served an assistant coach with the Lions from 2006-2010.
"I believe in coach Hampton's vision," Cooper said. "He told us he wants this first (recruiting) class to be the one to restore the pride at UAPB."
Fayetteville coach Casey Dick, a former quarterback at Arkansas, is pleased the trio will have an opportunity to display their skills at the Division I level.
"Brooks, he's the smartest player I've had the privilege of coaching," Dick said. "He prepares himself daily at an elite level.
Kaylon is one of the most physically-gifted kid we have had and Deuce is a super versatile player in the secondary who can play any position with a high ceiling."