National Signing Day: 19 in-state players sign with DI schools; 10 leave the state
In a soft year for in-state Division I prospects, only 19 players from Arkansas signed Division I letters-of-intent today, but that's an increase from the 15 who signed last year. The state produced 24 Division I signees in 2012 and 28 in 2011. It could yield as many as 30 D-I signees in 2015.
DT Bijhon Jackson
Five in-state players opted for the Arkansas Razorbacks, while four chose Arkansas State. North Little Rock running back Juan Day (6-2, 210), Springdale Har-Ber defensive end Jake Hall (6-5, 230), El Dorado defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson (6-2, 325), Bentonville tight end Jack Kraus (6-5, 240) and Pine Bluff Dollarway athlete Josh Liddell (6-1, 198) signed with Arkansas. (More on the Hog recruiting class coming to hootens.com)
Warren offensive lineman Jhamahl Bell (6-4, 295), Barton defensive lineman Jarrod Chandler (6-2, 220), Lonoke receiver Blake Mack (6-3, 193) and Jonesboro defensive tackle Chuks Ota (6-2, 285) signed with Arkansas State. (More on the A-State recruiting class coming to hootens.com.)
The Tulsa Hurricane inked four players from Arkansas, including Greenwood quarterback Jabe Burgess (6-3, 200). Burgess started the past two seasons, helping the Bulldogs go 26-1 (didn't play in this year's opener against Sallisaw, Okla.). Burgess completed 72 percent of his passes for 5,238 yards and 47 touchdowns in his career. The two-time all-state performer was a finalist for the Farm Bureau Awards Class 7A/6A Offensive Player of the Year. Burgess signed a financial aid agreement and enrolled in Tulsa in January, allowing him to participate in spring drills.
Fayetteville receiver/cornerback Jordan Dennis (6-1, 175), North Little Rock linebacker Tim Quickel (6-2, 225) and Springdale Har-Ber tackle Isaac Johnson (6-6, 275) also signed with Tulsa. Dennis, a finalist for the Farm Bureau Awards Class 7A/6A Defensive Player of the Year, racked up more than 60 tackles and six interceptions this year, and almost 100 tackles in his career. The two-time all-state performer caught 120 passes for 1,995 yards and 21 TDs the past two seasons. Johnson, the son of former Springdale coach Kevin Johnson, received offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Memphis and UL-Monroe. Quickel received his offer from Tulsa over the weekend.
Springdale Har-Ber defensive tackle Josh Frazier (6-4, 330) signed with Alabama. Frazier racked up 47 tackles last season and 65 stops as a junior. He chose the Crimson Tide after receiving more than 20 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Southern Cal. "He's got the frame and will fit in nicely with Alabama's scheme," Springdale Har-Ber coach Chris Wood says.
Fort Smith Southside quarterback Isaac Jackson (6-2, 230) and Wynne offensive tackle Jake Snyder (6-3, 270) signed with UL-Monroe. Jackson played receiver as a sophomore before taking his 4.5 speed to QB. In two seasons taking snaps, Jackson generated more than 4,900 yards and 51 TDs. Jackson also reported offers from Arkansas State and UAPB. Snyder committed to UL-Monroe in early September and helped Wynne notch 29 victories the past three seasons.
Versatile Jarvis Cooper (6-2, 245) signed with Memphis. Cooper played fullback, linebacker and defensive end for the West Memphis Blue Devils the past three seasons. He was named Farm Bureau Awards Class 7A/6A Defensive Player of the Year in December. He ran for almost 3,000 yards and 37 TDs the past three seasons, while racking up almost 200 tackles, including 56 tackles for loss. Cooper chose Memphis over Arkansas State.
Pine Bluff kicker Austin McGehee (6-0, 200) committed to Purdue on June 28, then helped Pine Bluff play for its second straight state title. The two-time all-state performer kicked for Star City as a freshman and sophomore but commuted 20 minutes a day to Pine Bluff the past two years under the state's school choice law. McGehee averaged 40.4 yards per punt this season. But he'll go down in Arkansas high school football lore as the leg that snapped Greenwood's 50-game winning streak. McGehee nailed a 47-yard field goal attempt as time expired to give the Zebras a 37-34 semifinal victory.
Rogers linebacker Zack Wary (6-4, 220) wasn't on recruiting lists before the season, yet got an offer from Arkansas in December. Wary spurned the Razorbacks, who wanted him to Grey shirt, to sign with Wake Forest. He also had offers from Air Force, Arkansas State and Tulsa. He visited Boise State last weekend.