Impressing The Tais

While it was Las Vegas (NV) Liberty defensive end Sam Tai (6-4, 240) who took the actual official visit this weekend to Arkansas, the Razorback staff's biggest victory may have been impressing his mom Debbie as it battles UCLA for the young man's commitment.

While Las Vegas (NV) Liberty defensive end Sam Tai and his dad were both on the trip this weekend to Fayetteville, it sounds like mom was the one who got what she needed on the official visit to Arkansas.

That would be peace of mind should her 6-foot-4, 240-pound son decides to play his college football in Fayetteville instead of Los Angeles for UCLA.

"I had a great time and my dad, he already loves Arkansas," Tai said. "But the best thing about the trip was that my mom (Debbie) really enjoyed it. She was not so sure about me being so far away, but she got to meet all the coaches' wives, even got to talk to some fans about what Fayetteville is like and really just got some peace of mind about Arkansas.

"She is happy and pleased with what she found out about the school and the coaching staff and how things are done at Arkansas," Tai added. "Now she is very comfortable about me coming back and playing here and will not be concerned about me being so far away."

Tai, a mid-term graduate whose younger brother also made the trek, will take an unofficial visit to UCLA for its game with Oregon State next weekend and then visit the school officially early in December.

The Razorbacks offered back during the summer while the Bruins became the 15th team to do so last week.

"That will give me a chance to really compare both situations and make the best decision for myself," Tai said. "I will say that this visit really helped Arkansas."

Tai had been to Arkansas this past summer for a football camp, but certainly got a more extensive look at the campus this time.

He was in attendance at the Razorbacks' 49-14 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

"The fan base definitely was incredible," Tai said. "That was really impressive to me. I got to see everything about the place and I was really excited about everything I saw."

The Arkansas coaches stressed to Tai how there was a chance for early playing time if he chooses the Razorbacks.

"They have definitely got across to me how much they want me to come to Arkansas," Tai said. "They are telling me that, especially because I am a mid-term graduate, that there is a chance to come in and play right off because of a senior (Damario Ambrose) on the depth chart. That really gets my attention."

Recruiting is always considered a bit of a horse race with fans always trying to figure out who has the lead headed to the finish line.

"Both the schools are still very much in it," Tai said. "It's definitely between Arkansas and UCLA."

Sam Tai

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